There were some positive signs around the state of Philippe Coutinho’s ankle in the immediate wake of yesterday’s taxing match against Sunderland, positive being a relative term under the circumstances. Manager Jürgen Klopp relayed a welcome update, direct from the horse’s mouth, that Coutinho at least appeared to be in minimal discomfort. There were further noises that the medical staff did not suspect a fracture, which might have had catastrophic consequences.
In the sobering light of a new day, there are concerns that while the Brazilian midfielder may have evaded a season-ending injury, he very likely has sustained ankle ligament damage, the extent of which will not be known until a scan has been completed. That scan has now been scheduled for Monday afternoon.
Timing is everything, and now is not a good time for Liverpool to be without Coutinho. The club are once again entering the congested holiday season, with a Merseyside derby and a high-stakes clash with Manchester City looming in the next few weeks. To add a further complication to matters, Liverpool are a little more than a month away from losing Sadio Mané to the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, where the impact signing will be on duty for Senegal.
And because when it rains, it pours, Daniel Sturridge and Roberto Firmino are both dealing with calf issues which may preclude their participation in at least the midweek EFL fixture against Leeds United. On the bright side, it has been reported that a scan on Firmino has been deemed unnecessary, and he may yet be able to participate in Liverpool’s next league contest against Bournemouth.
Elsewhere, Adam Lallana, who sustained a groin injury while on international duty, is creeping back towards fitness away from the rest of the team and under the watchful eyes of Andreas Kornmayer. Liverpool will almost certainly need him back sooner rather than later.