Sadio Mane will not travel with the Liverpool squad to Asia next week for their two friendlies in Hong Kong.
Instead, the 25-year-old will make his first appearances on the Reds’ trip to Germany. The first game there is against Hertha Berlin on July 29th, followed by two games in the Audi Cup on August 1st and 2nd.
Explaining Mane’s fitness, Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com: “He is really, really good. He is close; he is closing on coming back to team training.
“In this moment, we think it will be when we are in Asia, so then it makes no sense to take him to Asia because he needs to then do the first steps in kind of team training. We will see how we can do it; maybe [some of] the U23s will be here, so when he can start this [training] then we can use this opportunity, but we have to wait.”
Mane has though returned to first-team training this week, as explained by the boss:
“On Tuesday morning he was part of the running, so he is first-team training if you want and that looked really good. I think he is getting better, but it is how it is after a long time – you need to build a little bit of muscle again in the quad and thigh, which is important.
“There is no risk with him because he is a naturally fit boy and in the moment when he can start to be a real part of the sessions, he will then immediately be fit again. We have not all the time in the world, but we have time and we will use it.”
Liverpool kick off their pre-season games at Tranmere and Wigan this week. This Is Anfield will be providing coverage from Prenton Park and the DW Stadium.
Key dates in Liverpool FC’s pre-season diary this summer:
July 12: Friendly: vs. Tranmere
July 14: Friendly: vs. Wigan
July 19: Asia Trophy: vs. Crystal Palace (Hong Kong)
July 22: Asia Trophy: vs. Leicester or West Brom (Hong Kong)
July 29: Friendly: vs. Hertha Berlin (Berlin)
August 1: Audi Cup: vs. Bayern Munich (Munich)
August 2: Audi Cup: vs. Atletico or Napoli (Munich)
August 4: Champions League playoff qualification draw
August 5: Friendly: vs. Athletic Bilbao (Dublin)
August 12: New Season: Watford (A)
August 15/16: Champions League playoff first-leg
August 19: First Home Game: vs. Crystal Palace (H)
August 22/23: Champions League playoff second-leg