Liverpool forward Sadio Mane will miss the Premier League Asia Trophy in order to continue his rehabilitation from a knee injury at Melwood, manager Jurgen Klopp has confirmed.
Mane underwent surgery in April after sustaining the injury in the 3-1 Merseyside derby victory over Everton at Anfield and subsequently missed the rest of the season.
The Senegal international, who scored 13 goals last season following his £34m move from Southampton, is yet to return to full training, but is back running with his team-mates.
Liverpool take on Crystal Palace in Hong Kong on July 19 in the pre-season knockout competition and will face Leicester or West Brom in their second fixture, either in the final or third-place play-off.
“He is really, really good. He is close; he is closing on coming back to team training,” Klopp told the club’s website.
“In this moment, we think it will be when we are in Asia, so then it makes no sense to take him to Asia because he needs to then do the first steps in kind of team training.
“We will see how we can do it; maybe [some of] the U23s will be here, so when he can start this [training] then we can use this opportunity, but we have to wait.
“On Tuesday morning he was part of the running, so he is first-team training if you want and that looked really good.
“I think he is getting better, but it is how it is after a long time – you need to build a little bit of muscle again in the quad and thigh, which is important.
“There is no risk with him because he is a naturally fit boy and in the moment when he can start to be a real part of the sessions, he will then immediately be fit again. We have not all the time in the world, but we have time and we will use it.”
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