BOSTON -- The shoulder injury that forced Fabio Borini out of Liverpool's 1-0 friendly loss to Roma Wednesday night is not as serious as first thought. Borini was substituted in the 14th minute after falling awkwardly on his shoulder in a tangle with Seydou Keita during their match at Fenway Park.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers confirmed that the Italian forward suffered a bruised shoulder and will resume training in a matter of days.
"It's probably not bad as first thought; he's had problems in the past with his shoulder," Rodgers said. "He's only bruised it, so he'll miss a few days of training and he won't train for the remainder of the trip here, but it's only a matter of days until he's back training and playing again."
Borini is the subject of a 14-million-pound bid from Sunderland, where he spent last season on loan. Rodgers was non-committal about the striker's future on Merseyside, or how the injury affects his proposed move to Wearside.
The Liverpool boss did speak glowingly, however, about the man at the heart of the majority of his side's offensive production on Wednesday night. Philippe Coutinho, left off Luiz Felipe Scolari's doomed 23-man Brazilian squad for the World Cup, was the star of Liverpool's intermittent attack.
Coutinho began the night operating centrally, but drifted to the left in the second half to accommodate the introductions of Emre Can and Jordan Henderson. Rodgers admitted in his post-match news conference that the former Inter midfielder is central to his side's play.
"Coutinho is the brain in our team," Rodgers said. "Coutinho is the continuity player. He might not score many goals, but he's a wonderful reference for the team. He's the one who gets the team ticking.
"He's a fantastic talent for such a young player. He's still gaining his fitness, but he gets the crowd of their seats, and for someone so small, he's very tough."