Senegal boss provides Sadio Mane injury update ahead of crucial AFCON quarter-final vs Equatorial Guinea

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The Liverpool man was involved in a head-on clash in the previous game, reports Rahman Osman in Cameroon.

Liverpool fans will be keeping an eye on the ongoing AFCON with two of their key men in Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah pushing for a place in the last four this weekend.

Senegal, having come close and just falling at the final to Algeria in 2019, will hope that Mane is fit enough to start against Equatorial Guinea after being badly affected by a clash with Cape Verde’s goalkeeper Vozinha

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He has since returned to training with the entire Senegalese squad and has been looking sharp despite the initial concerns that followed that incident.

There had been uproar from some Liverpool fans on why Mane was allowed to continue playing after a head injury but the fact that he has trained fully with the team and is being considered to start against Equatorial Guinea will calm nerves in both Dakar and on Merseyside.

Senegal manager Aliou Cissé said the forward is showing progress and is in line to play tomorrow.

He explained: “Sadio Mane is going great, but we are still monitoring him.

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“He’s a high level athlete who knows his body. We are hopeful he will be ready for tomorrow after this afternoon’s training.”

The Liverpool forward posted a picture of himself in the gym on Friday in a move seemingly meant to assure fans that he was back to full fitness after a momentary scare for both club and country.

The Taranga Lions of Senegal are hoping that this golden generation, led by the hard-working Mane, will be able to bring home a trophy that has evaded the country previously.

The 29-year-old has scored twice in four games so far in Cameroon, but has still endured a relatively slow start to his AFCON campaign.

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Issiaga Sylla (down) tackles Senegal’s forward Sadio Mane during the Group (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP via Getty Images)Issiaga Sylla (down) tackles Senegal’s forward Sadio Mane during the Group (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP via Getty Images)
Issiaga Sylla (down) tackles Senegal’s forward Sadio Mane during the Group (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

Senegalese everywhere in Cameroon can be spotted wearing the jersey of their talisman and it will be interesting to see if the pressure of carrying the expectations of such a fanatical footballing nation gets to him.

In other news, Liverpool fans will be happy to see the return of Naby Keita after Guinea were kicked out of the AFCON by debutants Gambia.

Prior to that knockout game the midfielder was one of the best players of the competition in the group stages, but that has all counted for little as his country missed him dearly in the round of sixteen.

He was seen on social media catching a flight direct from Cameroon to Merseyside where he will spend the rest of the mini-break before beginning preparation for the game against Cardiff in the FA Cup.

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Liverpool are still alive in the Premier League after picking up a win against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park last weekend, just a few hours after leaders Manchester City had dropped points against Southampton, and the Reds will be delighted to have the diminutive midfielder back available once more.

They will, however, have to continue the wait for Sadio Mane and Mohammed Salah, with both leading their respective countries in search of glory.

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