Senegal manager Aliou Cisse is adamant Sadio Mane will be “100 percent fit” for November’s clashes with South Africa, despite his recent injury.
Mane was ruled out for six weeks after picking up a hamstring problem in Senegal’s 2-0 loss away to Cape Verde this month, in theory keeping him out for nine games.
Given the six-week timeframe, it is feasible that he could be absent for the Reds’ top-four meeting with Chelsea (Nov 25), too.
However, Cisse is clearly convinced this won’t be the case, naming Mane in his 25-man squad for next month’s double-header World Cup qualifier against South Africa on November 10 and 14.
And speaking on announcing his selection Cisse explained how he believes Mane will be “100 percent fit.”
“In my mind, there is no doubt he will be us for the double-header against South Africa and that he will be 100 percent fit,” he said.
“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.”
This will undoubtedly provoke anger from Merseyside, particularly given Mane was already injured on international duty, with Cisse seemingly overplaying him in their win at Cape Verde.
The Reds have continually struggled with Mane’s commitments to Senegal, with his absence during the Africa Cup of Nations in January leading to the collapse of their Premier League title challenge.
He has already scored three goals and set up a further two in nine appearances for Liverpool this season, adding to his 13 goals and eight assists in 29 outings in 2016/17.
It is highly unlikely that he will be fit for Senegal’s qualifiers, with his inclusion surely due to his importance to Cisse’s side and the precarious nature of their World Cup bid.