Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick is unsure what the future will hold for Philippe Coutinho, but he is hoping to call upon the Brazilian again before a loan deal with Barcelona comes to an end.
In what has been a frustrating stint for the South American in German football, an untimely injury is threatening to bring a season-long agreement to a premature conclusion.
Coutinho has undergone surgery on an ankle problem, with a setback in his recovery from that procedure now keeping him stuck on the sidelines.
Bundesliga action is preparing to resume amid the coronavirus pandemic, with a green light given for competitive football in Germany to return.
Flick is preparing his side for the completion of a title bid, but is in no position to select Coutinho.
It may be that the 27-year-old is not seen again, with a return to Camp Nou set to be made when the 2019-20 campaign comes to a close.
Bayern have no intention of taking up the purchase option on a midfielder who has registered nine goals through 32 appearances.
Coutinho has failed to rekindle the spark he lost after joining Barcelona from Liverpool, with further transfer talk having raged around him as a result.
Various landing spots are being mooted, with most of those back in the Premier League, and Flick admits he cannot say with any certainty what the immediate and long-term future holds for the Brazil international.
He told reporters ahead of a meeting with Union Berlin on Sunday: “I can't say what will happen with him after the season.
“Philippe is a good guy and an excellent footballer. I really enjoy working with him. We hope he can be back with us again soon and play some games before the end of the season.”
Bayern entered lockdown sat four points clear at the top of the Bundesliga table and they have taken in 25 fixtures to date, meaning that there are still nine to come before another champion is crowned.
The plan is to get schedules completed before the end of June, giving Coutinho little time in which to overcome his current injury problems and work his way back to fitness and favour.