Coutinho may return to Liverpool light training next week after improving ‘a lot’

Brazilian star off crutches though Reds won’t take any risks with him as Klopp rules out Joel Matip surgery

Philippe Coutinho could return to light training next week as the Liverpool attacker steps up his recovery from an ankle injury.

The Brazil international, who is targeting a return to action against Manchester City on New Year’s Eve, has been sidelined since he suffered ligament damage against Sunderland three weeks ago.

Coutinho is now off crutches and Jurgen Klopp is delighted with his progress but insists he won’t take any risks with him.

“It would be cool (if he was available to face City),” Klopp said.

“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.”

Klopp dismissed concerns that Joel Matip might need surgery on his ankle injury.

The former Schalke defender missed the midweek victory over Middlesbrough and is a doubt for Monday night’s derby showdown.

Klopp said Liverpool “hadn’t made a final decision how to handle” a problem which has been causing Matip pain for the past three weeks.

If Matip isn’t fit for the trip to Goodison then Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan are likely to be the Reds’ centre-back combination against Everton.

“It’s just a case of time,” Klopp added.

There will be no surgery, there is not even a risk of it. It is only about resting the injury or not.

“Try it every day or give it a few days. That is what we already did. Against West Ham it was possible to play but then against Middlesbrough it was not.

“For Bournemouth he was involved in the squad and then we made the decision (not to play him).

“It’s in the moment. It is not perfect because we have no time so you can’t say ‘this game isn’t really important or whatever’.

“The other boys are doing really good but we have to see.”

Source: Coutinho may return to Liverpool light training next week after improving ‘a lot’ – Liverpool Echo

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