Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has played down suggestions that Sadio Mane could be set to return quicker than scheduled from his latest hamstring problem.
Mane was tipped to be ruled out for at least six weeks after picking up the injury earlier this month while on international duty, but he has been included in Senegal’s squad for their World Cup qualifiers in the second week of November.
“In my mind there’s no doubt he will be with us for the double header against South Africa and that he will be 100% fit,” said Senegal coach Aliou Cisse.
“Until now, he has just been doing some individual training – running in straight lines – but from next week, he is going to train harder and start working with the ball.”
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Those comments fuelled rumours that Mane could make a return for Liverpool before the end of this month, but Klopp has insisted that timescale is unrealistic.
“Sadio is still in rehab,” confirmed the Liverpool boss. “He is indoors. He is not in even doing any exercises outside. That is the situation at he moment. If he is fit earlier I would be really happy, but nobody knows at this moment.
“Senegal have some very important games to be qualified for the World Cup, so I can imagine they feel the pressure a little bit. If he is fit, we can do nothing to keep him here and he will go to the national team, but at this moment I don’t know.”