Liverpool winger Sadio Mané set to return to full training after positive recovery from knee injury

Sadio Mané will return to full Liverpool training for the first time in four months at Melwood before the end of next week.

The Senegalese winger has been out with an knee injury sustained in the Merseyside Derby victory against Everton on April 1, having had to undergo surgery on the problem.

But Mané's rehabilitation over the summer has gone without a hitch and he is expected to step it up further with a return to full team training after completing a number of outdoor sessions.

He trained away from his team-mates as the Reds kickstarted pre-season training on Wednesday and Thursday.

Mané will join captain Jordan Henderson and striker Danny Ings in returning to training from long-term injuries - Ings also having trained separately of late.

Mané's return rules the wide-man out of Liverpool's first two friendlies of the summer - trips to local sides Tranmere Rovers and Wigan Athletic next Wednesday and Friday respectively.

However, Mané could take part in Liverpool's scheduled Premier League Asia Trophy fixtures in Hong Kong - with the Reds entertaining West Bromwich Albion and then facing one of Leicester City or Crystal Palace in either the competition's final or third-placed play-off.

Mané's return will prove a welcome boost

The 25-year-old's fine form was brought to a cruel end before the climax of last season at Anfield, having earlier opened the scoring against the Reds' neighbours - his 13th goal of the campaign.

But he enjoyed a sublime first season on Merseyside, adding five assists to a double-figure goal tally in the Premier League and instantly becoming one of Jürgen Klopp's most important players.

Such form saw him earn the Player of the Season and Players' Player of the Season accolades at the club's awards evening, while the Reds' No.19 was the only Liverpool player in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year.

He was sorely missed although Liverpool clung on to fourth place to qualify for the Champions League play-off round - leaving the club just 180 minutes away from a spot in the group stages, though they could face tricky opposition.

Yet the eventual return of Mané to full fitness will provide a major boost given his impact throughout last season, and the former Southampton attacker will no doubt be keen to return to form.

Furthermore, the acquisition of Mohamed Salah intends to make Liverpool's front-line even more potent, adding extra pace, width and incision - though it may mean that Mané is forced to move to the left side of a three-pronged attack, with club-record signing Salah having proven deadly in cutting inside from the right on to his stronger left foot.