The South American playmaker caught an injury during a meeting with Eibar on December 29. That ailment put him under the knife, with his left meniscus requiring surgery.

Coutinho is out for three months

Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho has been ruled out for three months, and the Brazil international underwent a “successful” knee operation. The South American playmaker caught an injury during a meeting with Eibar on December 29. That ailment put him under the knife, with his left meniscus requiring surgery. Barça announce the procedure played out as planned, with Coutinho now on the road to recovery. The Liga giants’ statement read: “Philippe Coutinho underwent successful surgery for a left meniscus injury. He will be out for about three months.” The 28-year-old started a meeting against Eibar on the bench but was included in the second half. Coutinho limped off in stoppage time, leaving Ronald Koeman’s side with 10-man as they played in the final stages of a 1-1 draw.

A bit of unlucky for Barca

Coutinho has now been added to the growing list of injuries at Camp Nou, which already includes Gerard Pique, Ansu Fati and Sergi Roberto. He has scored three goals and two assists to the Blaugrana this season, being absorbed back into the fold in Catalonia following the 2019-20 campaign on loan at Bayern Munich. Koeman said: “A bit unlucky because we have so many players injured. Philippe, he will be out for about three months. He has always been an important player and will be again. Now he has to recover, and I don’t know when it will be 100 per cent. It is an important absence. We have some problems ahead of time, and now we need to see how we can address Philippe’s absence”. Barca have struggled to reach peak form this season, even though talismanic skipper Lionel Messi has remained on their books.

A total of seven wins have been collected from 15 fixtures so far, with a 25-point return leaving them ten adrift of leaders Atletico Madrid. Koeman admits that the title may already be out of his reach for his side, with the Dutchman saying: “If I’m a realist, the title is challenging. Nothing is impossible, but you have to know the distance. Atletico” seem to me to be very good, very strong. They don’t concede many goals.”