Jurgen Klopp revealed Philippe Coutinho is fit enough to make Liverpool’s matchday squad for the League Cup semi-final test at Southampton, with captain Jordan Henderson hoping to return to team training by the end of the week.
The Brazil international, who sat out the club’s past nine fixtures due to ankle ligament damage, is on course to end his spell out in the first-leg clash on Wednesday.
Having completed three sessions, with another pencilled in before the trip to St Mary’s, Klopp feels the 24-year-old has done enough to possibly be named on the teamsheet.
Ahead of Sunday’s top-flight showdown with Manchester United, Coutinho could even be afforded a cameo, depending on how the contest against Southampton shapes up.
“I think Phil is fit enough to be part of the squad,” the Reds boss said at Melwood on Monday afternoon.
“That means that it could be minutes, but it depends on the game, of course.
“He’s in a very good way. It was six or seven weeks [of being injured], something like that, which is long.
“He needs minutes in training especially, but then, of course, as soon as possible minutes in games.
“We will see how we do it – there’s no final decision made now. I think today was the third complete session he did with the team, so tomorrow will be the fourth.
“It’s not that many, but for being in the squad, I think it’s enough, so we will see.”
Henderson, meanwhile, is nursing a heel complaint and is targeting a return to team training on Thursday.
“Hendo is in a very good way because he’s really a mentally strong guy,” added Klopp.
“It’s still painful I think, but he’s doing well so we will see what we can do with him.
“Hopefully [he’ll be involved in] Thursday’s team training.”
There was further good news with James Milner having “no issues anymore” with a calf problem.
And Joel Matip, shaking off a troublesome ankle, “took his first steps, if you want, in team training”.
Loris Karius, meanwhile, is expected to continue between the sticks.
The goalkeeper made his first start since December 11 in Sunday’s goalless FA Cup draw with Plymouth after being taken out of the firing line.
“No final decision until now, but it’s pretty likely that Loris will play again,” said Klopp.“It makes sense and it’s a fair response to training performances. It’s likely, not sure.”