Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is concerned by Sadio Mane’s injury relapse and says the club will monitor him closely in the coming days.
Mane was released by Senegal and is on his way back to Merseyside to be assessed by Liverpool medical staff after complaining of a slight niggle relating to a previous problem, also picked up while on international duty in October.
The forward played a key role in helping his country seal their place at the World Cup for the first time in 16 years as they beat South Africa 2-0 but Klopp must now wait to see if Mane can play any part against Southampton at Anfield when the Premier League returns on Saturday.
“First and foremost, I have to say big congratulations to Senegal on the achievement of qualifying for the World Cup; this is fantastic news for their country and the players – Sadio included,” Klopp told Liverpool’s official website.
“Specifically on him returning to Melwood early to be with us; obviously it is a concern that the hamstring injury is again on the agenda and it will be critical for us to monitor and manage that in the coming days.
“At this stage we haven’t seen Sadio yet to properly assess the extent, but what is clear is that we will have to stay on top of this for the rest of the week and make sure we are careful in how we look after him.
“There has been really strong communication between ourselves and the Senegal team management to ensure the player is properly protected and looked after.
“We respect how important he is for Senegal and therefore it must always be the case that they get to make the decision when he is under their care.
“It should not be forgotten in Liverpool, either, how important it is to Sadio that he represents his country whenever he is fit enough to do so. He is so proud of his country and recognises what a role model he is for them.
“So, in this moment all I can really say with certainty is that we will assess Sadio as soon as he lands back in the country and make decisions on what rehab and treatment gives him the best chance of being back fit and strong for the important fixtures we have coming.”