Rodgers backtracks over Sterling comments
Feature by Kevin Smith
Updated Friday, 1st March 2013
Brendan Rodgers says that Raheem Sterling hasn't burned himself out, but that he does need to rest.
The Liverpool boss tried to explain the dip in form of the 18-year-old winger, admitting that he had 'lost his zip', but he now insists it is no surprise.
"This is a real tough league for an experienced player so it is no surprise that for a young kid that happens to him."
Rodgers added: "I just have to protect him. I didn't mention burnout at all. What I know is that if he never kicks a ball for the rest of the season, he has had an outstanding season.
"I don't know of another 17-year-old who had the impact he had in one of the top five leagues in the world.
"He is getting to a period where he will need a rest, mentally as well as physically."