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Daniel Sturridge was forced to pull out of Perth Glory's recent A-League game after suffering cramp during the four-hour plane journey.
The former Chelsea and Liverpool striker recently joined Glory following a stint in the Turkish league.
Since news of the big-name signing broke, A-League fans have been keen to see the 32-year-old in action - none more so than the Perth faithful.
So when the Glory were set to take on Melbourne-based club Western United, supporters were gutted to see that Sturridge had been left off the starting team sheet at the last minute - in fact, he wasn't even on the bench.
Now we know why, with Perth Glory owner confirming that four-hour flight from Perth to Melbourne took its toll on Sturridge's body.
"Look, a lot of consultation goes ahead, and when I saw the team sheet I made the call to sound out why (Sturridge was left off)," Sage told SEN.
"After a talk between the two - the player and the coach - he didn't feel he could contribute.
"Richie (Richard Garcia) said it in the post-match, he's not used to a four-hour flight to a game. He's just not used to it.
"He pulled up on the plane a little bit crampy, when they did their walk and that he didn't feel comfortable when they did the team walk.
"So, he went up to Richie and said, 'Look, I might not be ready this week'."
The Glory now have seven games on the road before jetting back to sunny Perth in the new year.
Sage hopes, by that time, that Sturridge will be fully fit and ready to start banging in goals on a weekly basis for the club.
"He's got a full week of training now in Melbourne with the squad, no distractions and I think you'll see he'll get at least 10-15 minutes next week building up," Sage said.
"I think you'll see him start by the time he gets back here (to Perth)."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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