Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho is facing more than five weeks out of action after sustaining an ankle injury in Saturday's Premier League win over Sunderland, manager Jurgen Klopp has confirmed.
The Brazil international was sent for a scan at Spire Hospital on Merseyside after being substituted during the first half of the 2-0 victory at Anfield.
Coutinho, who arrived for those tests with his right foot in a heavy brace, is likely to be sidelined until January after the extent of the damage was confirmed.
Speaking ahead of Liverpool's EFL Cup quarter-final with Leeds United on Tuesday, Klopp told BBC Radio 5 live: "Phil needs between five and a few weeks until we have him back. We will see. He is not in for tonight and for the next few games."
Coutinho has been one of the standout performers of the Premier League this season, with five goals and five assists helping Klopp's side to stay within a point of leaders Chelsea after 13 matches.
He is expected to miss at least their next five matches, including the derby against Everton on December 19, although there is a chance that he could be available for a key clash with Pep Guardiola's Manchester City on December 31.
Speaking before the game with Leeds at Anfield, Klopp said: "Phil Coutinho is a really good football player. So if we cannot use him for the next few days or weeks, each team in the world would feel it, that's how it is.
"But of course I can say now there is no excuse for anything. As good as he is, he cannot decide games by himself, even when it looks sometimes like this because he takes the ball, dribbles and shoots.
"But then it's only a goal or whatever, then everybody has to defend so it's really a team performance that we create."