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The former Chelsea forward featured against Celtic on Saturday, his first match since suffering an ankle injury while on international duty with England in May

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge is optimistic for a strong season after making a return from injury against Celtic on Saturday.

Though Brendan Rodgers' side lost 1-0 in the friendly match in Dublin, the 23-year-old was delighted to get some game time under his belt as he continues his rehabilitation.

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It is the first action the forward, who scored 10 goals in 14 league appearances for the Reds last season, has been involved in for Liverpool since suffering an ankle injury while on international duty with England in May.

And the recovery could not come at a better time for him, with the new Premier League campaign beginning against Stoke City on Saturday.

"I'm delighted to be back," Sturridge told LFC TV.

"It's been a long road - a bumpy one at that - but I'm delighted to be back out there and I'm thankful to God for healing my injury so quickly because I wasn't sure I'd be back for the start of the season.

"I'm fit and good to go. If I'm selected against Stoke then I'll be ready. I didn't think I'd be as sharp as I was, to be honest, so I'm happy!

"I would have loved to have scored and marked my return with a goal, but the important thing was to leave the pitch healthy with no injury or anything."

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