Cape Town - Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said that it will still take some time before midfielder Philippe Coutinho will be able to step back on the pitch.
Coutinho has been out of action ever since he sustained an ankle injury in the Reds’ 2-0 win over Southampton last month.
But, while the Brazilian is hoping to be fit enough to feature in his side’s clash with Manchester City on December 31, Klopp admitted that it is unlikely to happen, especially considering that Coutinho has not trained since getting injured.
"Unfortunately, we do not have him back in training. He makes his training, that is a big difference. Until we have him in training, there is absolutely no reason to think about when he is back," Klopp said. "We cannot rush the situation and we do not want to rush it. We have to accept the more or less bigger steps in his improvement with this serious injury. It was not just something. It was a decent injury and is still, so we need to wait.
"Whenever he is back, the season is long enough that he can help us. We cannot rush it just because there are a few games now. That cannot have an influence on our decisions."
Klopp added that he doesn’t want to rush Coutinho’s comeback as he doesn’t want it to result in the 24-year-old aggravating the injury and spending more time on the sidelines.
"A rehab with a professional football player is always on the edge. We cannot say if we do nothing it will take 10 days, and if we try something it will maybe be seven days or 12 if it is too much,” he said. "Medicine is a lot about experience and all the players are different. He was on a very good way then it was a little bit more difficult, because of a reaction in the ankle, and we had to cool down the situation a little bit. But he is still on a good way.
"I do not think it will be, from this moment on, long-term still. But the game everybody is dreaming of, the City game for example, it was clear from the first second that this would be really unlikely, but it was the dream of Phil. So try to do it. In this moment, it is not more likely than before but I do not want to say it is not possible. We have to see."