Sadio Mane will miss Liverpool’s next two games before the winter break but is set to be “fine” to return after the two week rest period.
Liverpool’s joint-topscorer this season with 15 goals in all competitions, Mane limped off after half an hour of last week’s win at Wolves, with Jurgen Klopp confirming a hamstring issue post-match.
One of the fittest players in Liverpool’s squad, it’s Mane’s first injury since October 2018.
The current African Footballer of the Year had just 10 days off last summer due to participation in the Africa Cup of Nations.
And now he is set to miss Liverpool’s clashes with both West Ham and Southampton, with the boss confirming that Mane has sustained “a small muscle tear.”
“He will not be involved at West Ham and probably not for Southampton, but after that, he should be fine,” he told reporters ahead of Liverpool’s trip to the London Stadium.
“The week after that is perfect for him to get back on track. He has a small muscle tear which is serious enough to keep him out but we were lucky with the injury that it was not that serious.
“But of course when you have three games in a week then it means he is out for these.”
Mane has featured in 31 of Liverpool’s 37 games to date this season, absent for only one league game and both domestic cup competitions, a return bettered by only four of his teammates.
Mane’s injury remains a blow for the Reds, but Liverpool should have more than enough firepower in his absence against the Hammers and Southampton with the winter break ensuring Klopp’s senior side are not back in action until the visit of Norwich on February 15.
The FA Cup fourth round replay is, of course, to take place between the two league fixtures but the boss remains steadfast that it will be an occasion for the club’s youngsters.
In the meantime, in the absence of Mane, both Divock Origi and Takumi Minamino will be presented with an opportunity to stake their claim for a position in the attack.