Mane only returned to Liverpool training on Friday, having flown back after success in the AFCON final with Senegal, and it was expected that he would be eased in for the Reds.
But speaking after the 1-0 win over Burnley, Klopp confirmed that a dead leg for Jota prompted him to change his lineup.
“Sadio played really well,” he told reporters.
“It wasn’t the plan to start him today, because you know how intense everything was.
“But Diogo had a dead leg, couldn’t train yesterday, that’s why we started Sadio.”
Klopp also explained why Diaz was not considered for a starting spot, due to the harsh nature of a clash with Burnley and his needing time to adapt.
“For Luis, he adapted really well, but this is a completely different game, like ‘welcome to the Premier League‘,” he said.
“We didn’t want to try it if we didn’t need it, and that’s why we started like we started.
“Sadio did really well, working incredibly hard, and that’s exactly what we expected.”