Liverpool to give winger Sadio Mané every chance of proving fitness ahead of Southampton clash

Liverpool are expected to make a late decision on Sadio Mané for this weekend's Premier League clash with the winger's former club Southampton after returning from international duty with a slight hamstring injury.

Liverpool to give winger Sadio Mané every chance of proving fitness ahead of Southampton clash
(Picture: Getty Images - Andrew Powell)

Liverpool will continue to monitor Sadio Mané until the eve of their Premier League clash with Southampton to give the winger every chance of proving himself fit to feature.

The 25-year-old will hope to face his former club after returning from international duty early with a slight injury, but his involvement will be subject to a last-minute assessment.

It is hoped that he can participate in training on Friday so that he can play at least some part at Anfield on Saturday, with it unlikely he will train with his team-mates before then.

Mané helped Senegal to ensure their place in the World Cup next year with a 2-0 win over South Africa on Friday, their first finals since 2002.

But he missed the Lions of Teranga's second clash - a 2-1 win - against the same opponent on Tuesday due to a minor recurrence of a hamstring injury.

 

Klopp keen to give Mané time to prove fitness

Mané missed five matches with the same issue but lasted 76 minutes against West Ham United prior to the international break, with Klopp having suggested he would feature for 25 minutes off the bench having only trained twice in the build-up.

Yet Klopp has warned that the 2016-17 Player of the Season must be allowed time to recover.

The German manager told Liverpool's official website earlier this week: "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. 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."

He spoke of the "really strong communication" between the Merseyside outfit and the Senegalese national team to ensure that Mané "is properly protected and looked after."

Klopp added that Liverpool will "make decisions on what rehab and treatment gives him the best chance of being back fit and strong" for "the important fixtures" they have coming up.

Mané was named as one of five contenders for BBC's African Footballer of the Year award this week, alongside team-mate and Egypt international Mohamed Salah and Guinea's Naby Keïta, who will join Liverpool from RB Leipzig for £48 million next summer. 

Injury and suspension has restricted Mané to just eight appearances this term, yet he still has three goals and three assists and has once again been a pivotal figure in the Reds' attack whenever he has played.

 

Reds hopeful on Lallana and Henderson 

Elsewhere another former Saints player - Adam Lallana - is finally back in full training at Melwood, having yet to make a competitive appearance this term.

He sustained a thigh injury during a pre-season clash with Atletico Madrid in early August but is nearing a return and featured in a behind-closed-doors match at the club's training ground on Tuesday.

The midfielder could even feature on the bench for the first time this season at the weekend, while skipper Jordan Henderson could too be in contention for a spot in the match-day squad.

Henderson had to withdraw from the England squad for clashes with Germany and Brazil with a thigh injury that prevented him from featuring in the win against the Hammers a fortnight ago.

Liverpool were however dealt the blow that Nathaniel Clyne will be sidelined until around February after undergoing minor corrective surgery on a setback to his rehabilitation.

Like Lallana, the right-back has yet to feature this season after suffering the back injury in pre-season, but suffered a setback in his recovery which required the procedure.