Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp has given confirmation that Sadio Mane will miss the rest of the Premier League season.
However, the German also insisted that the absence of the Senegalese international would not hurt Liverpool as the Reds campaign for a spot in the Champions League next season.
As the Mane’s knee was too swollen for scans to give a clear prognosis, Liverpool have yet to ascertain the level of damage, with Klopp adding that Mane’s injury “is not 100% clear”.
“We have to wait until the knee is not that swollen any more. The only thing I can say for sure is that he will not be available for tomorrow (against Bournemouth).”
“All the rest we have to see. It is not very positive when it is like this. I cannot say at this exact time so we have to wait.”
When asked if the injury was potentially season-ending Klopp replied: “Unfortunately that is possible but why should I say it now when I don’t know? The knee is swollen and we have to wait for the final assessment.”
Mane scored 13 goals in his debut season for Liverpool since joining from Southampton, and the Reds won only one of seven games when he was absent playing for Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations in January — with his pace being sorely missed Klopp’s side.
Nevertheless, the Liverpool manager insists that his squad are better equipped to cope without the forward at this stage of the campaign.
“My job is to find solutions. This is a good situation: we have 59 points, we are in a nice position. Yes, a few teams have played less games than we have but they cannot win them all because they have to play each other. The whole season is to prepare the finish and this is the finishing part of the season.”
“Eight games to go. We expect results from ourselves, we want to fight for everything. A few key players are not available at the moment but as long as we have 11 players to start and a few to bring on everything is fine.”