Naby Deco Keita of Guinea during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations match between Nigeria and Guinea at the Alexandria Stadium, Alexandria on the 26 June 2019 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Naby Keita withdraws from international duty due to injury

Naby Keita had been called up to represent Guinea for two friendly fixtures this month but has been withdrawn due to a knee issue following on from his appearance at Nottingham Forest.

The 27-year-old started and played 64 minutes of Liverpool’s quarter-final tie on Sunday evening, his 25th appearance of the season.

He was replaced by Jordan Henderson as part of a quadruple substitution by Jurgen Klopp, with no obvious issue visible during his time on the pitch or whilst leaving the City Ground.

But the Guinea FA have since confirmed that Keita will not be joining the rest of his international teammates due to what they say is “knee concern.”

Guinea are scheduled to meet both South Africa (March 25) and Zambia (March 29) in friendly encounters in what is to be their first outing since being knocked out of AFCON at the round of 16.

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 20, 2022: Liverpool's Naby Keita during the FA Cup Quarter-Final match between Nottingham Forest FC and Liverpool FC at the City Ground. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Keita is not the first Liverpool player to drop out of international duty this month, with Trent Alexander-Arnold forced to miss England’s friendly double due to a hamstring injury.

His issue is not serious and the expectation is he can make an early return in April during what is to be a relentless run of fixtures that is to see the Reds play every weekend and midweek.

Andy Robertson is also a doubt for Scotland after Klopp confirmed on Sunday that he had tested positive for Covid, which could see him miss two friendly games.

For Keita, the hope will be that Liverpool are being cautious with their midfielder and that the knee issue is only a minor concern that will abate by the time Premier League action returns.