BARCELONA

Barcelona: Coutinho to undergo surgery to repair torn meniscus

The Brazilian suffered "damage to the external meniscus in his left knee" during Monday's league meeting with Eibar, and will require surgery.

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Barcelona worst fears were confirmed this morning after Philippe Coutinho had undergone a resonance scan on his injured left knee. Just as AS reported, the midfielder has suffered damage to the external meniscus, but today's tests revealed a more stark prognosis - the meniscus has completely ruptured which means that the player will require a trip to the operating table.

The recovery period will be determined after surgery but judging by similar cases, Coutinho can expect to be out for around four months - much of that will depend on how his rehabilitation goes but it is safe to assume that he will miss the rest of the season. According to Doctor José González, a columnist at AS, "The internal meniscus takes between a month and a half to two month to heal but the external meniscus, the one which Coutinho has torn, except in extreme circumstances, like Luis Suárez for example, could take three months or longer. If the meniscus needs to be stitched, then we are looking at four months".

The operation will be supervised by Doctor Ramon Cugat and his team, who performed a similar procedure on Ansu Fati earlier this season, although that was to repair the internal meniscus.

Barcelona's injured stars

Coutinho hasn't had the best of luck since his return to Barcelona - this season, he suffered a tear to his left hamstring which kept him out for almost a month. This latest injury is even more serious, and means he joins Ansu Fati, Gerard Piqué and Sergi Roberto on the list of long-term casualties. Sergi Roberto is expected to be the first to return - he fell injured at the end of November and was given an estimated recovery time of two months so he could be back by late January.