Mid-way through the first half of Liverpool’s match against Sunderland, star attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho had to be stretchered off the pitch with his foot and ankle in a brace following a potentially serious injury that could see him sidelined for six to eight weeks.
The Brazilian had worked to open up space for a shot in the Sunderland penalty area, cutting inside and shifting onto his right foot. However, as he followed through on his effort, the arch of his foot swung into the toe of Ibrahm Ndong, who was moving to block his effort.
With Coutinho collapsing in a heap and needing to be carried off, initial replays made it look as though a broken metatarsal on his instep was most likely. However, still images appeared to show his ankle and not the metatarsal may have been what was broken as he followed through.
Either way, the expected recovery would be the same, around six to eight weeks. Fans will be hoping for something less severe, of course, but the early signs are not positive, and it looks likely that Coutinho will now be out through much of January.