We still don’t know what the future holds. We don’t know whether Philippe Coutinho will start or even make the bench against Manchester City. We don’t know what will happen when Liverpool head to Spain to take on Sevilla in the Champions League next week.
For now, though, we know that Coutinho is back in training. He has returned from Brazil alongside compatriot Roberto Firmino and has joined up with the first team in training at Melwood. His back injury hasn’t flared up again; he hasn’t come down with a mysterious stomach bug.
There are still the rumblings out of Spain, from the Catalan press, that’s he’s angry and upset and could down tools in protest from now through to January first to finally get the move to Barcelona he was willing to go to great lengths to try to achieve this past summer.
For now, though, he’s back in training with Liverpool. For now, the expectation is that he is fit, physically at least, and can be called on to play for Liverpool—even if having sat out the past month he won’t be fully match fit or up to playing for a full 90 minutes.
The first step towards Coutinho’s reintegration into the Liverpool squad has been taken. Now we await the weekend’s match against Manchester City and, potentially, the second step.