Liverpool winger Sadio Mane’s operation to rectify the meniscus damage in his left knee is pencilled in for Tuesday morning.
The Senegal international, who picked up the injury during an awkward tussle with Leighton Baines during the 3-1 Merseyside derby victory over Everton on April 1, will travel to London for the procedure.
There was initial hope that surgery could be avoided, but the decision to correct the problem and give Mane enough time to recuperate ahead of the new campaign was the most sensible course of action. A two-month recovery period is anticipated.
Jurgen Klopp managed to extract the positives from what has been a significant hindrance to Liverpool by pointing out the club’s top scorer will have “a long break” and will be “ready for the next season.”
Mane’s influence for the Anfield side since his £30 million summer switch from Southampton has been sizeable.
The 25-year-old has recorded 13 goals and five assists in the Premier League and has beenessential to Liverpool’s status as the division’s best attack.
Mane’s speed, willingness to take his markers on, reading of space, exceptional decision-making and work off the ball has greatly assisted the team’s implementation of Klopp’s full-throttle blueprint.
His absence during the Africa Cup of Nations illustrated just how much of an impact he has made during his debut season on Merseyside, with the Reds failing to win in the top-flight during his unavailability.
The 2-1 victory at Stoke on Saturday is the first occasion, at the fifth time of asking, that Liverpool have picked up maximum points without Mane.