Philippe Coutinho set for surgery on second serious injury of season as Barcelona nightmare goes from bad to worse

PHILIPPE COUTINHO is set to undergo surgery on a knee injury as his Nou Camp nightmare goes from bad to worse.

The 28-year-old playmaker limped out of Barcelona's 1-1 draw with Eibar after being introduced as a second-half substitute.

He will be in the treatment room for the second time this season after initial tests flagged up damage to the lateral meniscus in his left knee.

The arthroscopic surgery will inform Barcelona how long Coutinho, who missed four games with a hamstring injury in the autumn, will be sidelined for.

It has been a challenging campaign for Coutinho following his return from a year-long loan at Bayern Munich.

A fresh start under the management of Ronald Koeman had raised hopes the Brazilian could recapture the form that prompted Barcelona to pay Liverpool an initial £105million for his services in January 2018.

But the Catalan giants are sixth in LaLiga after managing just seven wins from 15 games, with Coutinho contributing just two goals and two assists.

It is a far cry from his days as Liverpool's attacking midfield magician.

Coutinho got off to a promising start at the Nou Camp back in 2018 as he helped Barcelona to the league and cup double, but fans and the local press turned as he struggled to produce the goods in his first full campaign.

The season-long spell in Germany followed, with the Champions League, Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal being added to his collection of titles, but Bayern bosses opted against a permanent deal due to his mixed form and fitness problems.

Coutinho's injury is a fresh headache for under-pressure Koeman, who has admitted winning LaLiga will be "very complicated" following the Eibar draw.

Barcelona are seven points behind leaders Atletico Madrid despite playing two games more.

Koeman said: “Nothing is impossible, but you have to recognise the distance. Atletico seem to me to be very good, very strong. They don’t concede many goals.”

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