Sadio Mane reports back to Liverpool training uninjured after international duty scare

Liverpool summer signing Sadio Mane returned to training with the club at Melwood on Monday without any injury despite having been taken off in Senegal's AFCON qualifying victory over Namibia on Saturday with a knock.

Sadio Mane reports back to Liverpool training uninjured after international duty scare
(Picture: Getty Images)

Liverpool expect to have Sadio Mane available for the visit of Leicester City this Saturday after the winger returned to training without injury on Monday morning.

The summer signing sparked fears of a lay-off after he was brought off after 66 minutes of Senegal's 2-0 AFCON qualifying win over Namibia in Dakar on Saturday as a precautionary measure.

But such worries have since been allayed by Mane's unscathed return to training at the club's Melwood training ground.

Jürgen Klopp personally rang his £30 million forward on Sunday afternoon to ensure that he had no issues despite his substitution, with Mane confirming that he was fully fit.

The 24-year-old is now back on Merseyside and will continue training in the build up to their clash with the Premier League champions, their first home game of the season, at the weekend. 

Having the former Southampton wideman in contention is a huge positive for the Reds given the sublime early impact he has made since joining the club.

He has been among the stand-out players in his three competitive appearances for Liverpool this season, scoring on his debut against Arsenal and laying on two assists against Burton Albion in the EFL Cup.

The one game he has missed - through a shoulder problem - ended in their only defeat so far as newly-promoted Burnley won 2-0 at Turf Moor last month, with Liverpool lacking pace, movement, creativity and directness in Mane's absence.

He has quickly become all-important to the squad, his qualities unmatched by any other player at Klopp's disposal, quashing any criticism and concern over his price tag in the process.

Reds sweating on Emre Can's fitness

Can has only started one game so far this season, in which he limped off injured. (Picture: Getty Images)
Can has only started one game so far this season, in which he limped off injured. (Picture: Getty Images)

Otherwise, Emre Can has emerged as a doubt for the clash with Claudio Ranieri's side after being ruled out of Germany's two double-header against Finland and Norway with a foot injury. 

The midfielder, equal with Mane in his importance to Klopp, has sustained a capsular injury in his right foot and returned to Anfield to undergo treatment.

He isn't expected to return to training until later in the week and will have to attempt to prove his fitness to be in contention to feature against the Foxes.

However, defender Ragnar Klavan is fit again after missing the draw with Tottenham Hotspur at the end of August with a minor knee problem that also kept him out of Estonia's 1-1 friendly draw with Malta last week.

As the captain of his country's national team, he could yet play in their World Cup qualifier against Bosnia & Herzegovina in Zenica on Tuesday night.

All of the club's other internationals have, thus far, avoided injury in their exploits - with special arrangements made so that Philippe Coutinho can have at least two days' training prior to the Leicester game.

It has been reported that Klopp insists that all of his players contact him, and his medical staff, via text or WhatsApp after representing their countries with updates as to their fitness. 

Mane absent for at least a fortnight in January

Mane has enjoyed an excellent start to life in his Liverpool career. (Picture: Getty Images)
Mane has enjoyed an excellent start to life in his Liverpool career. (Picture: Getty Images)

Despite the positive of having Mane available now, Liverpool are aware that he will be away on international duty for a month in January with Senegal's involvement in the African Cup of Nations.

Senegal have already qualified for the tournament proper - which kicks off on January 14 before coming to a climax on February 5 - and Mane could miss a handful of games depending on how far his country progress in Gabon.

He is likely to make the Reds' trip to Sunderland on January 2 but will miss the club's third-round FA Cup tie the following week in order to join up with his compatriots in training.

Mane will also be absent for the trip to arch rivals Manchester United on January 14, as well as clashes with Swansea City on January 21 and Chelsea on February 1, both at Anfield. 

He could also miss the awy game against Hull City on February 4 if Aliou Cisse's Senegal reach the latter stages of the competition.

Mane and his countrymen will learn of their group opponents when the draw is made on October 19, with the tournament's format seeing the top two teams from four groups reaching the quarter-finals.