Liverpool’s title charge may on the wane following the loss to AFC Bournemouth last weekend and the draw with West Ham United on Sunday, but it looks like they’ll be given a timely boost over the Festive Fixture period with Philippe Coutinho aiming to return to action against Manchester City on New Years Eve.
“This is still my hope – to return for this game,” the Brazilian told the club’s official website. “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,” added Coutinho. “Straight after the game, when I first saw the pictures and videos of my injury, I was a little scared,” continued the 24-year old. “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.”
Originally expected to be out for five to six weeks after picking up an ankle injury in the 2-0 win over Sunderland last month, news that he’s ahead of schedule is exactly what the Anfield outfit wants to hear. Pushed out to the wing, his compatriot in Roberto Firmino has looked far less effective and though Jurgen Klopp’s side have still been among the goals, they’ve been missing the spark that Coutinho so often provides.
“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,” explained the Brazilian attacker, sounding as keen as ever to get back out on the pitch. “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.”