Philippe Coutinho Out for 3 Weeks with Thigh Injury

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2018

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JANUARY 07:  Philippe Coutinho poses prior to signing his new contract with FC Barcelona at Camp Nou on January 7, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. The Brazilian player signed from Liverpool, has agreed a deal with the Catalan club until 2023 season.  (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)
Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Philippe Coutinho may have to wait until February to make his Barcelona debut after the club revealed he is expected to be on the sidelines for around three weeks with a thigh injury. 

Barca announced his injury via their official Twitter account:

The Brazilian joined the club on Saturday as their record signing in a £142 million deal, with his unveiling taking place on Monday following a medical.

The playmaker was left out of Liverpool's first two games in January, which furthered speculation he would be joining the Blaugrana, as it did when he failed to appear for the Reds during the summer transfer window because of a back injury.

Sky Sports' Kaveh Solhekol alluded to Coutinho's absences, while football writer Leanne Prescott believes he was faking the injuries:

Per Rafael Hernandez of Blaugrana fan site Grup 14, Barcelona's announcement demonstrates the reason behind his absence from the Reds' recent games was genuine:

Regardless, it's not ideal for his new club, though it could be worse.

The 25-year-old will miss the second leg of their Copa del Rey tie with Celta Vigo, as well as trips to Real Sociedad and Real Betis in La Liga. His absence also means he is a doubt for the clash with Alaves on January 28.

However, assuming his recovery goes as planned, Coutinho should be available for Barca's derby with Espanyol on February 4.

The playmaker is ineligible for the UEFA Champions League round-of-16 clash with Chelsea later that month, but his availability for Barcelona's league games will afford manager Ernesto Valverde more opportunity to rest and rotate his players for the European match.

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