Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is optimistic about Philippe Coutinho's recovery, but has stressed he will not rush the Brazil international's return to action.
Coutinho has been sidelined since sustaining an ankle injury in the 2-0 home win over Sunderland on November 26.
The 24-year-old revealed this week that he could make his comeback in Liverpool's home game against Manchester City on New Year's Eve, but Klopp has made it clear he has no intention of taking any risks with his star player.
"We will have to see when he returns. No idea at the moment. I never rush a player back," Klopp told reporters.
"I am the most patient person in Liverpool. I always wait for someone. I cannot rush it.
"It would be cool if he returns against City. I will not stop him.
"In this moment he is improving a lot. He is off his crutches since the West Ham game, when we left the stadium he was walking in front without them."
Coutinho has scored five goals in 13 Premier League outings this campaign.