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The former Chelsea striker is delighted to have won his first game back after injuring his ankle on November 23 and is keen to continue his partnership with Luis Suarez

Liverpool forward Daniel Sturridge is thrilled to have marked his return from six weeks on the sidelines with a goal in Sunday's 5-3 victory over Stoke City.

The England international returned from an ankle injury – sustained in the Merseyside derby on November 23 – by coming off the bench in the 66th minute and he assisted Luis Suarez before adding the Reds' fifth.

Brendan Rodgers's side moved to fourth in the Premier League with the victory and Sturridge is excited at being back on the pitch after the lay-off.

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"I'm delighted with the result for the boys," the 24-year-old told the Liverpool Echo. "It's a difficult place to come and play and we showed a lot of character so we're very happy with the result.

"Being out of the fold has been very hard for me mentally but it's also good that we've been getting results and working very hard as a team.

"It's very hard when you're on the side, watching a team, and you want to be involved in the fun and be out there. I'm just happy that we're up there within touching distance and we're in the top four. It's great to be a part of it."

The return to action also meant the restoration of Sturridge's much-heralded strike partnership with Suarez – with the duo scoring 23 league goals between them this season - and the former Chelsea man is excited about adding more to the tally.

"It's very special for me, he's a world-class player," the Englishman enthused.

"We've got other world-class players out there and it's important that, as a team and a unit, we keep working hard, take each game as it comes and try to get maximum points in every game we play."

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