Liverpool have no intention of rushing Philippe Coutinho back into action during the festive period, Jürgen Klopp has explained.
The manager revealed at his pre-Stoke City press conference that the Brazil international is ‘more or less’ on track with his recovery from the ankle injury he sustained against Sunderland in late November.
But with Coutinho yet to re-join his teammates in full training at Melwood, there will be no hasty decisions made on when the No.10 returns to the side.
Klopp said: “Unfortunately, we don’t have him back in training.
“He makes his training – that’s a big difference. Until we have him in training, there’s absolutely no reason to think about when he is back.
“We cannot rush the situation and we don’t 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.”
LFCTV GO: Klopp's pre-Stoke press conference
The boss continued: “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’s too much.
“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 don’t 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’s not more likely than before but I don’t want to say it’s not possible. We have to see.”