Liverpool fans understandably feared the worst last weekend when Philippe Coutinho was stretchered off with his right leg in a brace during their 2-0 win over Sunderland at Anfield.
The Brazil forward has been outstanding this season, scoring five goals and providing five assists in 13 games, however he is not expected to play again until early 2017 after sustaining ankle ligament damage.
Prior to his injury, Coutinho was the key man in Jurgen Klopp's fluid, attacking brand of football, and his impressive form even led to him becoming a regular starter for his country in some of their important World Cup qualifiers.
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The attacking midfielder opened the scoring in last month's 3-0 defeat of Argentina with a superb strike, and head coach Tite recently appeared on Brazilian TV, where he discussed Coutinho's position and perfectly summarised the 24-year-old's campaign so far.
Tite praises Coutinho
Brazil are currently four points clear at the top of the South American World Cup qualification group, and their manager told ESPN, via Liverpool Echo: "In Liverpool, he plays floating in from the left side but I am going to train him to come in from the right side too."
In Brazil's most recent match, a 2-0 win in Peru, Tite deployed Coutinho on the right of a three just behind main striker Gabriel Jesus, which included Renato Augusto and Neymar.
On that positional switch, the 55-year-old explained: "I want to generate more creativity in our midfield and doing if from the right. After two or three training sessions I called him aside and asked him how he felt about this new role. He said he is feeling fine and had no problem with it."
He continued: "I told him one more thing. 'You're playing f***ing awesome! You play amazingly kid!' He looked at me and said 'Thank you Professor'."
Coutinho's club manager Klopp has confirmed that he will miss at least the next five weeks with the ankle problem, but has labelled the skilful talent as a "warrior".
The German has no doubts that his star man will get back to his very best when he eventually returns from this lengthy injury.
How badly will Liverpool miss Coutinho while he's injured? Have YOUR say in the comments box below!
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