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 By Mike Whalley

Philippe Coutinho blow for Liverpool

Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho will be out until late October with a shoulder injury that needs surgery, the club have confirmed.

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The Brazilian playmaker suffered the injury after falling awkwardly in a challenge with Ashley Williams during the second half of Monday’s 2-2 draw at Swansea.

Coutinho left the Liberty Stadium with his arm in a sling, and underwent a scan on Merseyside to assess the extent of the problem.

The club’s medical staff have decided that he needs an operation to sort out the damage to his acromioclavicular joint -- or AC joint -- which is at the top of the shoulder.

A statement on the club’s official website read: “After being assessed by the Reds medical staff, it’s been decided that Coutinho will now have surgical stabilisation on the AC joint in his shoulder.

“Liverpool hope to have the 21-year-old back in contention again towards the end of October.”

Liverpool have five more Premier League games between now and the end of October, against Southampton, Sunderland, Crystal Palace, Newcastle and West Brom.

The 21-year-old is set to miss the bulk of those, and will also be absent for next Wednesday's Capital One Cup third-round trip to Manchester United, which is set to be the match in which Luis Suarez makes his return to action.

Coutinho is the fourth Liverpool player in 2013 to suffer a shoulder problem. Midfielders Joe Allen and Steven Gerrard needed surgery to resolve their injuries, while striker Fabio Borini missed two-and-a-half months of last season after dislocating his shoulder in February -- also during a league match against Swansea.

The Brazil international has started all four of Liverpool’s Premier League games this season, playing a key role in the three wins and a draw that have taken them to the top of the table.

He has impressed since arriving from Inter Milan for £8.5 million in January, with manager Brendan Rodgers praising his tactical awareness and ability to play in a variety of midfield and attacking roles.

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