Philippe Coutinho Liverpool Didier Ndong Sunderland
Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho injures his ankle while going for a challenge with Sunderland midfielder Didier Ndong in their Premier League game, November 26, 2016Reuters

Liverpool have been one of the best teams to watch in the Premier League this season, playing with verve and that va va voom going forward, which has seen them right up there with the rest at the top of the table. However, injuries are starting to bite.

When Adam Lallana was injured and Liverpool failed to break down a Southampton defence, questions were raised over the team's capabilities without the England international, and those same questions came to the forefront after Philippe Coutinho injured his ankle in a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Sunderland.

Coutinho had to be taken off in a stretcher after coming off worse in a 50-50 challenge with Didier Ndong, and with the scans revealing ankle ligament damage, the prognosis is not expected to be that good for Liverpool.

The Brazil international should be out of action for at least five weeks, with that possibly extending to another week, depending on how he recuperates. While the injury could have been worse had surgery been needed, Liverpool will find it difficult without their talismanic playmaker.

Jurgen Klopp, however, insisted his team can cope in the absence of Coutinho. "Phil Coutinho is a really good football player," Klopp, speaking before Liverpool's EFL Cup quarterfinal against Leeds United, said. "So if we cannot use him for the next few days or weeks, each team in the world would feel it, that's how it is.

"But of course I can say now there is no excuse for anything. As good as he is, he cannot decide games by himself, even when it looks sometimes like this because he takes the ball, dribbles and shoots. But then it's only a goal or whatever, then everybody has to defend so it's really a team performance that we create."

"He is a very important part of this team, absolutely, but of course we can deal with it. It's not the best thing I can imagine, that I dreamt about it and thought it was a good idea that we can show we can play without Phil.

"But it was clear that if he is not in, we have to show it and we will show it. So it's all good from this side."

Liverpool will also be without Lallana, who is almost back in training but not ready to play yet and Daniel Sturridge for the match against Leeds, while there are also doubts over the fitness of Roberto Firmino, who suffered a kick to his calf in the Sunderland win.

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