Date: 18th September 2013 at 2:14pm
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Brazilian star Philippe Coutinho has been ruled out until the end of October with a shoulder injury…

The shoulder pain and discomfort suffered by Philippe Coutinho against Swansea City on Monday night has been diagnosed as AC joint damage.

The Reds have been accessing the injury caused by a Ashley Williams challenge in the 2-2 Liberty Stadium draw and have concluded the 21-year-old requires surgery to fix the problem.

An article confirming the news, published on Liverpoolfc.com this afternoon, read: “After being assessed by the Reds medical staff, it’s been decided that Coutinho will now have surgical stabilisation on the AC joint in his shoulder.

“Liverpool hope to have the 21-year-old back in contention again towards the end of October.”

Williams received a yellow card for the 49th minute tackle and Coutinho was replaced by Iago Aspas a few minutes later. At the time the Reds were leading 2-1.

Liverpool have had a number of shoulder injuries over the past year with Steven Gerrard, Joe Allen and Fabio Borini, now on-loan at Sunderland, all undergoing surgery and consequently being ruled out for substantial periods.

Coutinho arrived on Merseyside from Inter Milan for £8.5million in January and has so far made 18 appearances, scoring three goals and notching eight assists.

Vital Verdict
It is hard to overstate how big an impact the diminutive Brazilian has made at Anfield. His exquisite technique, skill and eye for a pass have been crucial in our recent upturn in fortunes and he will be very hard to replace. There are other options to cover the No.10 role against Southampton on Saturday, such as Aspas, Luis Alberto or moving Gerrard further forward, but none will provide the flair and creativity of Coutinho. Alberto, who scored a hat-trick for the U21s last night, would be my pick. The return of Luis Suarez, back from a 10-match suspension after the next game, will now be even more eagerly anticipated.

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