An adductor problem has plagued Liverpool’s No. 8 over the past two months, with a recurrence of the injury forcing him out of Guinea’s squad in Egypt this summer.
He had been rushed back into action for his country, but returned to Merseyside after a particularly physical clash with Nigeria saw him suffer another setback.
Liverpool are said to be calm over the situation, and Keita is pencilled in to rejoin the squad for this month’s pre-season tour of the United States following a holiday.
But first the 24-year-old will head to Qatar, where he will continue his rehabilitation with a specialist, Guinea manager Paul Put has confirmed.
“Naby is due to leave Liverpool tonight to seek medical attention in Qatar. He will not join us,” he told Foot224 on Friday.
“He will do his [recovery] with the doctor. He [will] not come back. This means he will not return to Egypt, where he was [until now] expected.”
This suggests another discord between club and country, but is unlikely Liverpool will be concerned with any damage to their relationship with Put.
Instead, the focus is on Keita’s recovery, and it is possible he will be sent to the same facility as Adam Lallana during the midfielder’s long struggle with injuries.
Lallana has visited the Aspire Academy in Doha on a number of occasions, though of course the Englishman’s continued battle for long-term fitness is perhaps not the best testimony for the Qatar clinic.
But as Daniel Sturridge‘s work with injury prevention specialist Andy Barr in Los Angeles in 2017 proved, specialist work in the off-season can have a big benefit to a player’s health once the campaign begins.
Keita only made 33 appearances for Liverpool in his first campaign with the club, but there is clear faith in his ability to be a key player in the future.