Naby Keita has insisted he is “fine” after being given the all-clear from a Liverpool doctor following another injury scare on international duty.
Keita’s involvement for Guinea in the African Cup of Nations had been under the microscope after an adductor injury suffered against Barcelona at the Nou Camp in May ruled him out of the Reds’ last four games of the season.
Jurgen Klopp had suggested the extent of the injury could see the midfielder sidelined for at least two months, but Guinea had only one plan for their star player.
His international manager, Paul Put, “put a lot of pressure” on the Reds to ensure he was sent on his way in a timely fashion, irrespective of his injury prognosis.
Keita played in the last half-hour of Guinea’s 2-2 draw with Madagascar in their opening game before being withdrawn with 71 minutes on the clock the next time out after being heavily targeted by Nigeria.
The encounter left Keita with shin and thigh injuries which left his availability for Guinea’s final group game against Burundi on Sunday under serious doubt.
However, the Reds’ No. 8 has looked to dismiss claims of another serious injury blow as he revealed a Liverpool doctor has assured him he is “fine.”
“A Liverpool doctor consulted me yesterday, I was fine, I’m not going to say I’m sure I’ll play tomorrow, we have a workout just now [and] after the coach decides,” he said.
It’s positive news for all parties, but Keita’s words come as yet another instalment in what has been a poorly handled situation.
The midfielder has battled numerous injuries and knocks throughout his first season with Liverpool and he should not be rushed back into action regardless of Guinea’s AFCON fate.
Keita, himself, will undoubtedly be eager to help his nation progress into the knockout stages but he needs to be carefully managed as to not pick up further injuries which could impact his ability to have an influence for both club and country next season.