Monday 22 January 2018

Doctor serves up bizarre diagnosis to explain Philippe Coutinho's recent 'back injury'

Philippe Coutinho takes part in a training session at the Gremio team training centre for Brazil
Philippe Coutinho takes part in a training session at the Gremio team training centre for Brazil
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Philippe Coutinho’s long-time personal doctor has come up with a curious diagnosis to explain why the Liverpool midfielder has been unable to play in the opening month of the season.

Coutinho has been the subject of a succession of transfer bids from Barcelona in recent weeks and as a result, he has declared himself unfit to play for Liverpool due to a discomfort in his back.

Most observers suspected this was merely a play by Coutinho to force through a £100m move to Barcelona, with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp admitting he ‘didn’t know’ when his No.10 would be fit again amid the stand-off.

Now Coutinho appears to have made a miraculous recovery and is set to play for Brazil in their World Cup qualifier against Ecuador on Friday.

By then, he will know whether he has succeeded in his bid to push through a move to Barcelona, but Liverpool fans may not be impressed by these comments from his former doctor Michael Simoni.

“Coutinho back problem? He is okay now. The back problem was a matter of stress, it was something emotional,” Simoni was quoted by Esporte.

“The uncertainty about his future led him to feeling stressed. Everything is solved now. Coutinho and I are friends since years, I always treat his medical cases. All he needed was someone to give him a pep talk.”

Despite Coutinho’s eagerness to leave Liverpool, Anfield goal scoring great John Aldridge believes the Brazilian will be welcomed back into the Reds team if he stays for another season.

“He wants to go to Barcelona and I can understand why,” states Aldridge. “When Real Madrid or Barcelona come calling it’s difficult to turn them down, especially for South American players who dream of going there.

“Despite his actions in recent weeks, there will be no problem if Coutinho returns to the Liverpool team. He will get a round of applause from the fans to start with and so long as he gives his all, he will be a hero again.

“We saw something similar with Luiz Suarez when he tried to leave for Arsenal and when he came back into the Liverpool team he was fantastic. I hope Coutinho gives Liverpool one more year and then he might well leave next summer.”

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