Daniel Sturridge
Sturridge was impressive during Liverpool's 2-1 win over Crystal Palace in the fifth round of the FA CupReuters

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers says that he does not want to take any risk with striker Daniel Sturridge's fitness, insisting that the Reds cannot "afford" to lose him again.

The 25-year-old striker, who recently returned back to the squad after spending almost five months on the sidelines following a thigh and a calf injury, made an immediate impact on his comeback, scoring against West Ham United.

The former Chelsea striker struck against during Liverpool's 2-1 win against Crystal Palace in the fifth round of the FA Cup at Selhurst Park.

Despite his good form, Sturridge was substituted in the 78th minute, and Rodgers claims he did that to avoid the risk of "re-injuring" the England striker.

"He's working his way back, so it's just about extending his game time," the Northern Irishman told BT Sports. "I've got to do that because you risk re-injuring him and that's something we can't afford."

The former Swansea City boss feels that the return of Sturridge has further boosted Liverpool.

"You can see his qualities - his speed, his touch and he doesn't need too many chances to score," he added. "He looks really bright, the team is functioning at a high level at the moment and him coming back gives us a big boost in this part of the season."

Liverpool's FA Cup victory against Palace will be more sweeter considering the fact that they were successfully able to take revenge on the Eagles, who had beaten the Reds 3-1 in the Premier League at Selhurst Park in November.

Although they trailed to Frasier Campbell's goal in the 15th minute, strikes from Adam Lallana and Sturridge helped the Reds successfully overcome the Eagles and book their place in the quarter-finals of the competition.

And Rodgers despite admitting that his side started off slowly, feels that the Reds were excellent after conceding the early goal.

"I thought we were very, very good after they scored the goal. We started a bit slow and weren't aggressive enough," added Rodgers.

"I think we had 15 efforts on goal in the first half. I felt our three defenders needed to be more aggressive and go and attack the ball. We also needed to get in and around the second balls a wee bit more."