Coutinho closing in on first-team return for Liverpool

The 21-year-old has spent the last month on the sidelines after undergoing surgery on an injured shoulder but Brendan Rodgers expects to have him available for selection soon
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed that Philipe Coutinho should be back in action soon after returning to training earlier this week.

The Brazilian playmaker has been out action for over a month after undergoing surgery on a shoulder injury sustained in the 2-2 draw with Swansea City, but is nearing a comeback after enjoying a successful rehabilitation.

"He might just be short for this weekend," the Reds boss admitted at his pre-match press conference for Saturday’s game against West Brom.

2/1 Liverpool are 2/1 with William Hill to beat West Brom as both teams score
"You always miss quality. He has re-joined training with the group. He's been on the field doing a lot of physical work. He has joined in with the team on a non-contact basis.

"I think, after the weekend, he'll be fine. He has got really good strength in his shoulder now; it's just getting him up to speed in training and joining the group.

"He has been in the last couple of days and has looked brilliant, to be honest - like he has never been away with his flow and fluency with the ball.

"His work has been excellent. It's great to see him back in and it's another quality player back for us."

Rodgers also revealed that Lucas Leiva is set to return to action on Saturday, having missed last weekend’s draw with Newcastle after his wife gave birth to a daughter.

"He's fine," he explained. "It was one where last week he became a father and on top of that, he had a long travel having been with the national team.

"He was in the hospital for a couple of days and could have been available, but sometimes that can be a risk - if you have lots of travel and lots of stress, mentally and physically in the body, sometimes you can go out there and actually injure yourself.

"But he's back in and has trained really well this week. He'll be back available in the squad."