Jürgen Klopp has good news and bad news regarding Sadio Mané and his return to full fitness and it’s sure to disappoint many supporters.
The good news is that Mané started running with the rest of his teammates yesterday at Melwood as a continuation of his rehabilitation from a knee injury suffered in April.
The bad news? The prolific winger won’t join his teammates as they jet off to visit Hong Kong next week as he needs to continue his training at Melwood.
Although he won’t take part in the Premier League Asia Trophy, Mané’s biggest priority is to be fit for the opening day of the season and as Klopp confirms, this is only possible if he remains at Melwood.
The boss told Liverpoolfc.com: “He is really, really good. He is close; he is closing on coming back to team training.”
“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 [some of] the U23s will be here, so when he can start this [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.”
Mané was named as Liverpool’s Player of the Season last term and will have a crucial role to play in his second campaign with the Reds.
Mohamed Salah will join the Senegalese forward up top and many fans are keen to see the two speed demons run riot together.
Regardless of the fact that we will need to wait until Liverpool take part in the Audi Cup to see Salah and Mané together, it’s good to hear from Klopp that there is no risk of the injury recurring.