Philippe Coutinho's injury came at the wrong time for Liverpool.
Philippe Coutinho's injury seems to have disrupted Liverpool's season.Reuters

Philippe Coutinho has handed the Liverpool team and its fans and an early Christmas present after he stated that he is targeting his comeback just in time to face Manchester City on 31st December at Anfield.

Philippe Coutinho has been sidelined with an ankle injury that he picked up in Liverpool's 2-0 win over Sunderland last month. Initially, he was expected to be out until the New Year but his recovery is better than expected and he is hopeful that he will be fit in time for their crucial match against Manchester City.

"This is still my hope - to return for this game, the rehab is going really well. I can now walk without crutches and I am working well with the medical team. So I'm pleased with how I am recovering," the Daily Mail quoted the Liverpool star as saying.

Philippe Coutinho has been an integral part of the Liverpool team this season scoring five goals and assisting another five, helping Liverpool to the top of the table early last month. Following his injury, Liverpool have clearly struggled, losing against Bournemouth 3-2 and drawing against West ham at home last week.

Coutinho admitted that he knew he would be out for a while after he saw the footage of him being tackled by Sunderland's Didier N'Dong.

"Straight after the game, when I first saw the pictures and videos of my injury, I was a little scared. But after the scans, of course, it was bad, but not as bad as it could have been. I am happy, as it could have been a lot worse," the Liverpool star said.

Liverpool face Middleborough away, and then take on Everton in the Merseyside Derby followed by a home fixture against Stoke City. Despite Liverpool not picking up a win in Coutinho's absence, he is confident his teammates can bounce back without his assistance.

"Obviously I have been very frustrated because like any player who is injured, it is tough to watch rather than play and help the team. The last game was a draw and not the result we wanted, but the team still has great quality and I am certain in the next game we will come back stronger," he said.