Senegalese star Sadio Mane will miss Liverpool’s pre-season tournament in Hong Kong as he continues his recovery from a knee injury, Reds manager Jurgen Klopp announced saturday.
The 25-year-old forward, who scored 13 Premier League goals for Liverpool last season after joining from Southampton, is making good progress but has yet to resume full training.
Mane suffered the knee injury in the Merseyside derby with Everton on April 1 and subsequently underwent surgery.
“He is really, really good. He is close; he is closing on coming back to team training,” Klopp told liverpoolfc.com.
“In this moment we think it will be when we are in Asia, so then it makes no sense to take him to Asia because he needs to then do the first steps in kind of team training.
“We will see how we can do it; maybe the U23s will be here, so when he can start (training) then we can use this opportunity, but we have to wait.
“On Tuesday morning he was part of the running, so he is first-team training if you want and that looked really good.
“I think he is getting better, but it is how it is after a long time – you need to build a little bit of muscle again in the quad and thigh, which is important.
“There is no risk with him because he is a naturally fit boy and in the moment when he can start to be a real part of the sessions, he will then immediately be fit again.
“We have not all the time in the world, but we have time and we will use it.”
Mane’s importance to Liverpool last season was apparent as his absence while at the Africa Cup of Nations proved costly to their title ambitions.
Due to the injury Mane missed eight games at the end of the campaign, but Liverpool still secured a crucial Champions League spot.