Sadio Mane will undergo knee surgery in London on Tuesday that will rule the Liverpool forward out for around two months and end any hopes of him playing again this season.
The Senegalese was forced off in the second half of the Merseyside derby at Anfield 10 days ago, when he damaged the meniscus in his left knee during a collision with Everton left-back Leighton Baines in Liverpool’s 3-1 victory.
Mane will be operated on by Dr Andy Williams, a consultant knee surgeon, with Jurgen Klopp, the Liverpool manager, hopeful of having the player back in time for the start of pre-season in early July.
Mane had been keen to avoid surgery in a bid to play some part during the run-in, with Liverpool still fighting for Champions League qualification.
He had recovered from similar problems in the past without the need for surgery and, as a consequence, Liverpool decided to delay a final decision in order to give the swelling to his knee time to go down.
But after fresh assessments it was decided that the best course of action for the long-term was an operation, meaning Mane will miss Liverpool’s final six Premier League matches, starting with Sunday’s trip to West Bromwich Albion.
A £34 million signing from Southampton last June, Mane has enjoyed an outstanding debut season and averages a goal every other league start, with 13 in 26 starting appearances in the top flight.
Klopp will hope Liverpool fare better during the run-in without Mane than they did in January, when he missed most of the month while away at the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal. Liverpool lost four and drew two of seven matches during that period without the forward.