LIVERPOOL - Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has ruled Daniel Sturridge out of Sunday's meeting with West Ham and admitted he does not know when the striker will be ready for action.
Sturridge, 27, has missed the Reds' last three games with a calf strain and is yet to return to full training with the rest of the squad.
Klopp refused to put a timescale on the England international's return and stressed the importance of remaining patient with his recovery.
"[We have] no real idea. Until now he didn't train on the pitch -- maybe today but it wasn't 100 percent clear yesterday," Klopp told a news conference on Friday afternoon. "He will go out today on the pitch but that means starting the football work not with the team but only the rehab coach. I have no idea when he is back.
"That's the life of football, you cannot force things, never. The name of the player or the quality of the player isn't important, you have to wait as a manager until they're back.
"Sometimes you have to wait a little bit longer because you decide -- as we have done in the past -- that a few days' training would be nice before we start again. It's not perfect in our situation with Phil [Coutinho] and Danny [out] but we can't change it."
Klopp added: "I learned pretty early I [shouldn't] make pressure by making timelines so why should I do it?
"He will be back as quickly as possible, but I have no idea at this moment. If he is not training with the team at the moment then we don't have to think about him for West Ham, or think about him for Middlesbrough.
"Maybe [after] then but I have no idea. It would be nice [to have him back for Everton] but I really have no idea."
The Liverpool manager, however, confirmed that Sadio Mane and Joel Matip will be fit for the encounter with Slaven Bilic's side.
Meanwhile, Klopp has defended underfire goalkeeper Loris Karius following a number of costly errors in Sunday's 4-3 defeat to Bournemouth -- most notably spilling Steve Cook's shot that allowed Nathan Ake to poke in a late winner.
Klopp insisted that Karius' outfield teammates deserved a share of the blame for the goals conceded on the south coast, and believes that even the best shot-stoppers in the game can still make mistakes.
"I've only heard that the criticism was very harsh," Klopp said. "When we made our analysis of the game, I found eight players that could've defended the goal before Loris got involved. Then, he made a mistake too, which [David] de Gea made a few days before. Even the best goalkeepers in the world still make mistakes -- that's possible.
"It's all up to you, it's not up to me. I know we live in a public world and everything is interesting and we have to deal with pressure and all that stuff, but there's no perfect recipe for development. Closing your ears helps a lot. I'm quite good in this actually, it's helped a lot in my life, so hopefully he can adapt to my skills in this."