Philippe Coutinho Won't Make Early Return from Injury for Liverpool

Ben Blackmore@@Blackmore_BRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 20, 2013

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 01:  Coutinho of Liverpool in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield on September 01, 2013 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has delivered two pieces of good news on the Reds’ injury front, but he was unable to offer a positive update on Philippe Coutinho.

The Brazilian underwent surgery on his damaged shoulder on Thursday and Rodgers ruled out the potential for a prompt return, confirming a six-week absence, per Liverpool’s official website:

He's only just having it today so the timescale from the medics is obviously up to six weeks.

We wouldn't anticipate any sooner than that. It's unfortunate for him because he's been in great form since he came here in January.

Coutinho suffered the injury during Liverpool’s 2-2 draw at Swansea, a game they led 2-1 when he departed. Robbed of the Brazilian’s services, the Reds dropped their first points of the campaign.

Rodgers now expects to be without his mercurial talent until November, meaning he will likely miss league clashes with Southampton, Sunderland, Crystal Palace, Newcastle and West Brom.

Liverpool travel to Arsenal on Nov. 2, so it is likely Coutinho will have that fixture earmarked in his recovery calendar.

There was good news elsewhere for the Reds, with Rodgers revealing vice-captain Daniel Agger should be ready to return in Saturday’s clash with Southampton.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24:  Liverpool player Daniel Agger in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Liverpool at Villa Park on August 24, 2013 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/Getty Images

Agger over-stretched in order to avoid a falling dumbbell in the gym ahead of the Swansea game and, without his services, Liverpool conceded for the first time in the league this season.

Martin Kelly could also be ready to start at right-back in place of Andre Wisdom after a strong showing for Liverpool U21s. Rodgers is clearly keen to accelerate the defender’s return from a serious knee injury, per the club's website:

He has been excellent in training—he is very focused on his fitness and sharpness. In the game the other night he was excellent.

So he's getting close and he'll be a great one to have back in the team because he's an experienced player. He has been around the club for a long time and when he got injured last year he was one of our best players.

I'm looking forward to having him back and thankfully it has all gone well so far.

Kelly would boost Liverpool’s options in attack and defence, offering a more experienced and reliable figure than Wisdom in the right-back role.

He also bursts forward with greater dynamism than his colleague and is more comfortable on the ball, which is likely to be crucial against a Southampton side who will defend in numbers at Anfield.