Jurgen Klopp says Sadio Mane could return from injury when Liverpool visit West Ham on Saturday.
Mane returned to training on Thursday, less than a month after suffering a hamstring injury while on international duty with Senegal, and Klopp hinted at a substitute’s role for the 25-year-old at the London Stadium.
The Reds boss said: “Sadio trained for the first time with the team [on Thursday] and looked really, really good.
“He looks like he’s ready for 20-25 minutes but we have to wait and see how his body reacts from Thursday’s session.
“It was pretty intense for him as it was his first football session for a long time but he did really well.”
While Mane is back in contention, Klopp confirmed Philippe Coutinho in unavailable for the West Ham game while late decisions will be made on Dejan Lovren and Georginio Wijnaldum.
Adam Lallana will return to first-team training next week and could be fit for the Premier League fixture with former side Southampton on November 18, but Nathaniel Clyne has suffered a setback with his back injury.
Although Mane was injured while with Senegal, Klopp is happy for him to link-up with his country for their two World Cup qualifiers against South Africa.
But he would like Mane to be rested for the second match if Senegal secure their place at Russia 2018 with victory over Bafana Bafana on November 10.
“We cannot sit here, ignore the situation of Senegal and say, ‘we don’t care if they play at the World Cup’. That’s not nice and it’s not right,” said Klopp. “We are trying to get in contact with the Senegal FA.
“If you see Sadio training you think, maybe we can use him. That’s the same for Senegal. If he has a few days training with them and they get the points they need [to qualify], then maybe we can talk to them and ask if it is necessary to play the second game.
“That would be the ideal situation but we cannot decide it. There are clear rules and we respect them.
“In his specific case, if he plays it is good for his rhythm. I have no problem with our players playing for their national teams, only that we need to know as much as possible about the circumstances – what they do in training, stuff like this. That’s really important for us.
“The games are on different pitches but the intensity is similar. Training is different and that is where I would love to have more influence in the future.”