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Philippe Navidad: We Need A Christmas Miracle

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Jürgen Klopp cools Coutinho’s hope for an early return from injury.

Liverpool v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Liverpool could use some of that Philippe Coutinho magic heading into the holiday crunch. A sprinkle of no-look-pass charms here, a rocket, right-footed thunder blast there. There are quite a few Premier League clubs for Liverpool to best over the next couple of weeks and while Jürgen Klopp’s team has adjusted fairly-well to life without the Brazilian mastermind, having Coutinho’s unicorn horn penetrating opposition defenses would certainly see the club in good stead through the year’s-end hullabaloo.

You wanted good news. I know you did. But, there’s nothing that can be done about it now. Phil’s injury was serious, it is being dealt with seriously and Klopp will not be taking any chances with the little magician’s long-term fitness.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have him back in training,” said Klopp.

“He makes his training. That’s the big difference. Until we have him in training, there’s absolutely no reason to think about when he is back.

“We cannot rush the situation and we don’t want to rush it. We have to accept the more or less bigger steps in his improvement with this serious injury.

Coutinho is in the midst of his rehabilitation and there will be ups and downs. Progress can suddenly turn into setback if the club and player are not cautious. Temper expectations. Hope for a return of the through-ball king against Manchester City may be a bridge too far.

“I don’t think it will be, from this moment on, long-term still. But the game everybody is dreaming of, the City game for example, it was clear from the first second that this would be really unlikely. But it was the dream of Phil. So try to do it.

“In this moment, it’s not more likely than before but I don’t want to say it’s not possible. We have to see.”