After picking up a serious ankle injury, Philippe Coutinho was ruled out for 5-6 weeks, but the Brazilian is targeting a comeback which will see him fit to play Manchester City on New Year’s Eve.
After suffering what seemed to be a very serious injury against Sunderland, Coutinho was sent to hospital to have scans and it was revealed that he had serious cartilage damage in his ankle and was ruled out for 5-6 weeks.
Despite the extended time on the sidelines, Coutinho hopes to return for Liverpool against what could be argued as being his favourite side to play against. The number 10 has scored two late winners against City and scored two against the Citizens last season in a 4-1 drubbing at the Etihad and is keen to continue that with an early comeback.
“This is still my hope – to return for this game,” he told Liverpoolfc.com.
“The rehab is going really well. I can now walk without crutches and I am working well with the medical team. So I’m pleased with how I am recovering.”
It comes as a relief to all that Coutinho’s injury wasn’t more serious and the man himself admits to being relieved that he wasn’t terribly injured.
“Straight after the game, when I first saw the pictures and videos of my injury, I was a little scared,” he continued.
“But after the scans, of course, it was bad, but not as bad as it could have been. I am happy, as it could have been a lot worse.”
As a player, when you get injured, it is always extremely frustrating to see your team struggling for form without the ability to intervene. While this also true of Coutinho, the former Inter Milan midfielder backs his teammates to succeed without him.
“Obviously I have been very frustrated, because, like any player who is injured, it is tough to watch rather than play and help the team,” he added.
“The last game was a draw and not the result we wanted, but the team still has great quality and I am certain in the next game we will come back stronger.”
Before his injury, Coutinho had scored five goals and assisted a further five and was easily Liverpool’s most in-form player. Jurgen Klopp will be keen to get his talisman back into the side but, at the same time, will not rush things as that could exacerbate the injury.