With Liverpool's resident unicorn out of commission for up to six weeks as he recovers from an Ashley Williams special, it quickly became clear just how sorely lacking Liverpool were in the creativity department with the absence of Philippe Coutinho on Saturday against Southampton. Like most players spending their time in the recovery room, Coutinho is itching to get back onto the pitch.
"It's annoying to get injured, especially when you are playing well, but that happens," said Coutinho, as told to Globo Esporte and probably translated without error. "I now want to focus on my recovery and do everything right to be back as soon as possible to help Liverpool in the league.
"The surgery was a success and this is what matters the most. I'll be back soon."
Liverpool have made a few poor choices in the last year or so in terms of rushing players back to quickly after injury — even if the player himself says he's fit *cough* Daniel Agger *cough* — and so in spite of the dire need for Coutinho to return as quickly as his body allows, it would perhaps not be the end of the world if his idea of "as soon as possible" coincided with the full six weeks he was predicted to be out of the side.
Coutinho's explosive Premier League debut season turned many heads, and so despite the injury the young midfielder is turning his thoughts towards next summer's World Cup, despite only having one senior appearance for Brazil in a friendly against Iran.
"I dream of getting called up again for the national team, but it's only up to me," Coutinho said. "Of course it's bad when you get injured in a moment like this, but this is football. I have had a set-back and my concern is being fully ready as soon as possible. If I play well, things will happen naturally."
Players with the potential for making their national teams have added incentive to perform in the season ahead of a World Cup, and while losing six weeks at the beginning of the season won't necessarily set Coutinho back in the grand scheme of things, he'll surely want to make up for the lost time in a positive way. Liverpool will be only too happy to enable his efforts upon his return.