Philippe Coutinho eases fears over leg injury as Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp says it's 'not too serious'

The Brazilian was forced off in the 13th minute of Liverpool's 1-0 victory over Watford

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The Independent Football

Philippe Coutinho has eased fears that his season could be over by the injury he suffered in Liverpool’s 1-0 victory over Watford on Monday night, with his manager, Jürgen Klopp, hopeful of having the influential midfielder back sooner rather than later.

Coutinho suffered a dead leg after a blow to his right leg by Watford defender Adrian Mariappa, and despite attempting to run off the knock, Klopp was forced into withdrawing the Brazilian in the 13th minute.

The 24-year-old was in obvious pain as he tried to battle through the injury, and once he had been replaced by Adam Lallana – himself only just returning from injury – he appeared on the substitutes’ bench with ice wrapped around his right thigh.

Coutinho has been one of Liverpool’s key players this season and has helped lift the Reds to third in the Premier League table, three points ahead of fourth-placed Manchester City and, crucially, nine points ahead of sixth-placed Arsenal who still have two games in hand in the battle for the top four.

The loss of Coutinho would come as a major blow for Liverpool and their European hopes, but both Coutinho and Klopp delivered positive updates in the wake of the narrow victory at Vicarage Road.

"Thanks to all for the support. It isn't serious," Coutinho said on Instagram.

Klopp added: "He has a dead leg, hopefully it's not too serious but of course it's really painful and no chance (he could continue). Everybody could see he tried hard, but no chance."

Liverpool’s run-in is fairly generous as they play on the next three Sundays, giving them more rest than Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal will have to negotiate midweek matches and, in United’s case, the Europa League semi-finals.

The win on Monday night has put Liverpool in the box seat though, with United now unable to overtake them if they win their game in hand following Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Swansea, while City will only overtake the Reds if they win their game in hand by two goals or more.