Players with long term injuries are easily forgotten, as the general principle of "out of sight, out of mind" erases them from our memories when we quickly tabulate depth at their position. It's a veritable party at centre back on Merseyside these days, and it can sometimes feel like Sebastian Coates' invitation got lost in the mail ever since he tore his ACL at the end of August. It's not a quick injury to come back from, but Coates insists he's on his way.
"I'm making progress slowly but surely," the Uruguayan told Liverpool's website. "It's an injury that takes a long time this one, and you have to work hard on a day-to-day basis to recover, but fortunately that's what I'm doing and so I hope to come back fit and well just as soon as I can.
"It's been going very well. As I said, it's a long recovery process for this injury and I think it's more about how you are psychologically in your head and trying to keep positive in order to be able to get back to full fitness as quickly as possible."
Coates did not confirm whether or not he's seeing the club's sports psychologist as part of the recovery given that the mental aspect of a long layoff can be as challenging as the physical aspects, but acknowledging it as an issue to be worked on contributes to staying in the right frame of mind.
"You always think positively, I think that's the most important thing," he continued. "In my case, I keep myself going by focusing on getting back as quickly as I can, and with the national team, the World Cup is another goal to help me with my recovery."
After turning in a series of performances at the 2011 Copa América that saw him win the Best Young Player award, it would be a disappointment for Coates to miss out on his first opportunity at playing in the World Cup with Uruguay's senior team. Whether he'll be able to get back up to speed enough to make the squad let alone play regularly remains to be seen, but Uruguay's shaky path to qualification demonstrated that it wouldn't hurt to have a little bit of that old Coates magic back again.