Jurgen Klopp claims Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho could return to light training next week after confirming he is off his crutches.

The Brazil international suffered an ankle injury in his side's 2-0 win to Sunderland on 26 November. He was forced to leave the field and the former Borussia Dortmund manager then confirmed the player will be out for five weeks.

Liverpool will make a short trip to Goodison Park to take on Everton in the Merseyside derby on 19 December. Coutinho will miss that fixture and even the Boxing Day clash against Stoke City at home.

The Reds will host Manchester City on 31 December and Klopp remains hopeful Coutinho could be fully fit to face Pep Guardiola's side. However, he admitted the playmaker will not be rushed back into the squad as the German manager wants to avoid any potential risks.

"It would be cool (if he was available to face City. I won't stop him. In this moment he is improving a lot," Klopp explained, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo.

"He is off his crutches since the West Ham game, when we left the stadium he was walking in front without them.

"We will have to see. No idea at the moment. I never rush a player back. I'm the most patient person in Liverpool. I always wait for someone. I can't rush it."

In Coutinho's absence, Liverpool have played three matches in the Premier League, which includes only one win. The other two matches ended in a defeat against AFC Bournemouth and a draw to West Ham United at Anfield.

Meanwhile, Daniel Sturridge has missed Liverpool's last five fixtures due to a calf injury. The England international will miss his side's upcoming clash against Ronald Koeman's side after Klopp confirmed the striker is yet to return to full training. In addition to this, defender Joel Matip remains doubtful for the derby against Everton on Monday.

Philippe Coutinho
Philippe Coutinho picked up an ankle injury against Sunderland on 26 November Getty