Philippe Coutinho will miss as long as six weeks with the ankle injury he suffered against Sunderland at the weekend, it has emerged.
The Brazilian playmaker arrived at Spire Liverpool Hospital on crutches on Monday ahead of a scan to examine the extent of suspected ligament damage.
While an estimated five to six weeks is a major blow for the title-chasing Reds, there were fears Coutinho could be out for a number of months.
However, it has been found that he won’t need surgery on the injury, vastly reducing his recovery time.
Coutinho will miss some huge matches for the title-chasing Reds.
While he wouldn’t have been expected to line up for Liverpool’s EFL Cup clash with Leeds, he will be sorely missed for the league visit Bournemouth on December 4, trip to West Ham on December 11 and the midweek clash with Middlesbrough on December 14.
He’ll also be out of commission for the Merseyside Derby against Everton in Monday Night Football on December 19 and the home clash with Stoke on the 27th.
In the best case scenario of five weeks, Coutinho could be back in contention for the huge match-up with Manchester City at 5.30pm on New Year’s Eve and January 2 trip to Sunderland.
After that Liverpool have a 13-day break in league fixtures until they visit Manchester United.
Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher isn’t convinced they can cope without Coutinho over the busy Christmas period.
“It could be huge. He’s Liverpool’s best player,” Carragher said.
“I think Liverpool’s XI, playing week in week out, can match up to almost any team in the league [but] have they got the squad the other sides have got? I don’t think so, to be honest.
“It is a worry going forward and it will affect them.”
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