Philippe Coutinho’s rehabilitation after injuring ankle ligaments is progressing well and there is a lot of optimism about the Brazilian’s return.
Liverpool’s talented number 10 came worse off after a 50/50 challenge with Sunderland’s Didier Ndong a few weeks ago and spent time on crutches and with his ankle in a protective boot.
While his teammates haven’t struggled without him in a goalscoring sense, his energy and control over the game has been missed. Coutinho could walk into any Premier League side but with the form of Divock Origi, Coutinho’s replacement, the Brazilian might find it difficult to get straight back into the side.
With several questions about Coutinho’s return date being asked and people curious to know how far into rehab he is, Jurgen Klopp was only too happy to respond in his latest presser.
“It would be cool,” said Klopp of Coutinho’s possible availability for the City game. “I won’t stop him. In this moment he is improving a lot.
“He is off his crutches since the West Ham game – when we left the stadium he was walking in front without them.
“We will have to see. No idea at the moment. I never rush a player back. I’m the most patient person in Liverpool. I always wait for someone. I can’t rush it.”
It seems very likely that Coutinho will make an appearance at Anfield on New Year’s Eve to face Manchester City. It’s doubtful that he’ll start given the length of time he’s been out for and the form of the players in the starting lineup already.
There is no doubt, however, that if there are any sort of issues, Klopp will not put Coutinho at risk of exacerbating the injury. At the moment, though, there is no sign of complications and the former Inter Milan midfielder should be playing again in the New Year.