Philippe Coutinho is expected to increase his recovery from an ankle injury next week when he begins light training, manager Jurgen Klopp revealed on Thursday.
A return to action this week, however, was ruled out as the Brazilian will miss Saturday’s crucial meeting with Manchester City, and will possibly be sidelined during Liverpool’s match against Sunderland the following week.
“He is in a good way, a really good way – I spoke to him a few minutes ago,” Klopp told reporters.
“But the City game, for sure, is too early and if the City game is too early then I am pretty sure the Sunderland game is too early, too. That’s it.”
Coutinho has not featured in Klopp’s lineup since suffering a nasty ankle knock during Liverpool’s 2-0 win over the Black Cats on Nov. 26.
Meanwhile, the Merseyside outfit will also be without centre-back Joel Matip on Saturday, as he continues to deal with an ankle injury that’s kept him out since Dec. 11.
News of Matip’s absence comes less than a week after Klopp admitted the Cameroon international could have returned for the Merseyside derby, but that Liverpool’s medical staff opted to avoid taking a risk, and instead wants to ensure he’s full fit before returning.