LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, March 4, 2017: Liverpool's Sadio Mane in action against Arsenal during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool announce likely pre-season return date for Sadio Mane after knee injury

Liverpool have revealed that Sadio Mane is expected to join his team-mates for pre-season training within the next 10 days, after a long-term knee injury.

Mane missed the last two months of 2016/17 after buckling under a challenge from Leighton Baines in the Reds’ 3-1 victory over Everton in April.

The 25-year-old underwent surgery on his left knee later that month, and has spent the summer in rehabilitation at Melwood, aiming for a return for pre-season.

After Jurgen Klopp‘s squad made their way back for training on Wednesday, Mane was not pictured alongside his team-mates, despite previous suggestions he would be fit to take part.

However, Liverpool have now confirmed that Mane is likely to link up with the rest of the squad at some stage over the next 10 days.

This means he should miss the Reds’ first two friendlies of the summer, coming away to Tranmere Rovers on July 12 and Wigan Athletic on July 14.

But he will likely be available for the Premier League Asia Trophy in Hong Kong, where Liverpool will take on Crystal Palace (July 19) and either Leicester City or West Brom (July 22).

He could be fielded alongside summer signing Mohamed Salah, with the Egyptian expected to join the squad for the trip to the Far East.

It must be stressed that there has been no setback in Mane’s recovery, with the club reiterating that he is “on schedule,” having begun outdoor work as he works his way back.

Mane scored 13 goals and assisted a further eight in 29 appearances for the Reds last season.