Following news late on Wednesday that Philippe Coutinho appeared to be well on track to play a part against Southampton on the weekend, the Brazilian attacker returned to training today for the first tie since suffering a dead leg early in the first half against Watford.
It was only a light training session for Coutinho, separate from the rest of the first team, but having completed it without issue it is now a near certainty he will be fit enough to at least make the bench on Sunday, and following the session he offered an update on his status.
“The injury is much better,” he told the club’s official webside. “It was a hard tackle and what happened was a dead leg. It caused a lot of pain in the area I was hit, but the pain has reduced now. At the moment, I am feeling very well [but] the first couple of days were painful.”
Coutinho’s ten league goals and six assists have been key to Liverpool’s success this season, and the club struggled over the winter when he was sidelined with a fractured malleolar in his ankle, causing the 24-year-old star to miss six weeks and ten games.
A start on Sunday now might be asking too much, and with Adam Lallana’s return from his own injury a straight swap in the starting eleven is likely, with Coutinho then available to come off the bench in the second half if needed to help secure all three points.
“We have three games left and we have to win them,” Coutinho added. “Eevery game in the Premier League is very difficult, but if we want to achieve our aims, we have to go through tough games and win them. If we win them, then we will be there in the Champions League next year.”