Jurgen Klopp allayed fears regarding Philippe Coutinho suffering an injury during Liverpool's 2-0 defeat to Leicester City in the Carabao Cup after the Brazilian was substituted at the interval, despite putting in an impressive performance in the first-half.
The German coach revealed after the game that the plan was to take him off after 45 minutes, which is in accordance with his fitness plan. Coutinho has yet to complete the full 90 minutes this campaign after returning from injury following the international break.
The Brazilian missed Liverpool's opening four games of the Premier League season with a back injury and Klopp is in no mood to rush him back to action and willing to wait for the midfielder to build match fitness before blooding him for the entire game.
Coutinho was expected to play the full 90 minutes during their 1-1 draw against Burnley at the weekend (16 September), but asked to be substituted after suffering from a cramp midway through the second-half. He will be expected to start when the Reds take on the Foxes again, but this time in the league on Saturday (23 September).
"That was the plan before the game, he needs match time but it was not for a second the plan [to keep him on] and it was not allowed to let him play again for 90 minutes, or 60 or 70 or 80 or whatever," Klopp said after Liverpool were knocked out of the Carabao Cup, as quoted on the club's official site.
"It was clear that 45 is the limit, we need to make him fit but we cannot push him through. That's all.
"Yes, of course. 80 something [minutes] at the weekend and then 45 today," the German coach added when asked if he was on course in his recovery process.