Ask any Liverpool fan which player they didn’t want to get injured ahead of the hectic festive fixtures and the majority of them would have said Philippe Coutinho.
The Brazilian has been in scintillating form this season, scoring six goals in all competitions and helping to establish Jurgen Klopp’s side as genuine title contenders.
However, in the 34th minute of their clash against Sunderland on Saturday, Coutinho went in with a 50/50 challenge with Lamine Kone and came off second best.
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It resulted in the playmaker being stretchered off and there were instantly fears that he may have broken his ankle.
After the match, Klopp - rather optimistically - hoped that he would be able to train on Sunday. That wasn’t the case with Coutinho appearing at Melwood in a protective boot and with the aid of crutches.
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“Unfortunately I don’t know [the extent of the injury],” Klopp said in his post-match conference.
"We will have to wait for a scan. What we know it is something with the ankle but that’s it. He was in pain but the pain got better.
"In the first moment it was very painful but at half-time he said it felt better. I have no idea what it is. I am quite an optimistic guy so I hope he can train tomorrow.”
The midfielder is set for scans this afternoon and there is a hope that Coutinho only has ligament damage. Even if that is the case, it’s unlikely that he will be playing again this calendar year.
Liverpool fans will be praying for good news but the player himself broke his silence. Coutinho took to Instagram on Sunday night to send message to his family, friends and Liverpool fans.
It read: "I'd like to thank my family, fans and friends for all the positive messages, that's very important to me.”
Without Coutinho, it looked as though Liverpool would have to settle for their second consecutive 0-0 after their stalemate against Southampton last week. However, late goals from Divock Origi and an injury-time penalty from James Milner saw them triumph 2-0 and stay within one point of table toppers Chelsea.
But with a trip to Everton for the Merseyside derby before Christmas, and then a clash against Manchester City on New Year’s Eve, Klopp will be hoping to be able to call upon his star man for those massive clashes.
Liverpool fans will find out soon enough.