Clyne and Mané add to Klopp’s con­cerns

The Guardian - Sport - - Football - Mark Dob­son

Nathaniel Clyne has suf­fered an­other in­jury set­back that is likely to keep the Liverpool de­fender out un­til Fe­bru­ary.

The right-back, who sus­tained a back in­jury in a pre-sea­son game in July, will now spend up to three more months out re­cov­er­ing from a mi­nor op­er­a­tion.

Clyne started run­ning again at Mel­wood in Septem­ber when Jür­gen Klopp called his progress en­cour­ag­ing but the 26-year-old has had surgery which will de­lay his re­turn fur­ther. The set­back is even more frus­trat­ing for the Eng­land de­fender with time run­ning out for him to stake a claim for a World Cup squad place.

In what has been a sea­son punc­tu­ated by in­juries for Liverpool, Sa­dio Mané is head­ing back to Mersey­side hav­ing ag­gra­vated his ham­string in­jury. The for­ward, who had only re­turned to do­mes­tic ac­tion against West Ham on 4 Novem­ber, has been sent back to Mel­wood af­ter lead­ing Sene­gal to World Cup qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

Mané played a key role in Sene­gal’s cru­cial 2-0 win over South Africa but then com­plained of dis­com­fort. Sene­gal agreed to re­turn the 25-year-old to Liverpool for fur­ther treat­ment. A Sene­gal state­ment con­firmed Mané had suf­fered a slight re­cur­rence of “an old in­jury”.

Klopp will be des­per­ate to have ar­guably his most in­flu­en­tial player fit as Liverpool head into a key week. They host Southamp­ton on Satur­day be­fore a Cham­pi­ons League trip to Sevilla on 21 Novem­ber. Chelsea ar­rive at An­field on 25 Novem­ber for a Satur­day even­ing match.

“It is a con­cern that the ham­string in­jury is again on the agenda and it will be crit­i­cal for us to mon­i­tor and man­age that in the com­ing days,” Klopp said.

“All I can say with cer­tainty is that we will as­sess Sa­dio as soon as he lands back in the coun­try and make de­ci­sions on what re­hab and treat­ment gives him the best chance of be­ing back fit and strong for the im­por­tant fixtures we have com­ing.

“There has been re­ally strong com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween our­selves and Sene­gal to en­sure the player is prop­erly pro­tected and looked af­ter. It should not be for­got­ten in Liverpool, ei­ther, how im­por­tant it is to Sa­dio that he rep­re­sents his coun­try when­ever he is fit enough to do so. He is so proud of his coun­try and recog­nises what a role model he is for them.”

Philippe Coutinho is ex­pected to play some part for Brazil in the friendly against Eng­land tonight. The play­maker has missed Liverpool’s last three matches with an ab­duc­tor strain but is fit enough to play at Wem­b­ley.

Jor­dan Hen­der­son did not train yes­ter­day as he con­tin­ues his re­cov­ery from a thigh prob­lem. Adam Lal­lana, who is ap­proach­ing full fit­ness af­ter a thigh in­jury, con­tin­ued to work on his own rather than take part in full train­ing – but is ex­pected to fea­ture in a train­ing match at Mel­wood to­day.

Nathaniel Clyne has not played for Liverpool this sea­son and could now face a bat­tle to earn a World Cup squad place

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