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Coutinho Nears Liverpool Return

Philippe Coutinho has been back in training with Liverpool this week, but will not make it into their squad to face West Brom at Anfield on Saturday.

The Brazilian schemer underwent surgery on his shoulder after suffering an injury against Swansea in September, and Liverpool have been missing his midfield craft since then.

However, they will not need to wait much longer for the player who has arguably been their most influential so far this season.

Coutinho is slated to return to the Reds line-up to face Arsenal, in what is sure to be a cracking contest in the first week of November.

“He might just be short for this weekend,” Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said of Coutinho.

“You always miss quality. He’s rejoined the training group. Philippe’s joined in with the team on a non-contact basis, and I would think after the weekend, he’ll be fine.

“He’s got really good strength in his shoulder now, so it’s a case of getting him up to speed in training with the group. But he’s been in the last couple of days and he’s looked brilliant.

“It’s like he’s never been away, with the flow and fluency he is showing 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.”

Meanwhile, Rodgers has backed striker Daniel Sturridge to continue his scoring form, but has stopped short of setting a target for the England hit-man.

Sturridge has scored seven times already this season, and some pundits believe he has 30 goals per season in him.

Rodgers does not want to encumber the former Chelsea man with too many expectations however, leaving him relaxed and free to do his job.

“I don’t set Daniel a goal target. I think he’s a natural goalscorer. It’s just about him understanding his role in the team with the ball -- and the intensity we need without the ball too, which is important,” he said.

“I firmly believe that he can be one of the top strikers in European football over the next two to three years, as long as he continues to work hard.”

Read: ‘I’d Pay To Watch Coutinho’

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