London (AFP) – Liverpool forward Philippe Coutinho will be out of action for at least five weeks with ankle ligament damage.
Brazil international Coutinho had a scan on his right ankle on Monday after being carried off on a stretcher in Saturday’s win over Sunderland.
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp confirmed on Tuesday that the 24-year-old will probably be out until the new year.
“Phil needs between five and a few weeks until we have him back,” Klopp said ahead of their League Cup quarter-final against Leeds.
“We will see. He is not in (to face Leeds) and for the next few games.”
Coutinho has been Liverpool’s most influential player this season, scoring six times in 13 appearances in all competitions, but Klopp insisted they would cope without him.
“It is no excuse for anything. As good as he is he does not decide games by himself, although it sometimes looks like this,” he said.
“It is a team performance we create and he is a very important part of this team, absolutely.
“Of course we can handle it. If he is not in you have to show – and we will show.”