Liverpool striker Sadio Mane has joined the Senegal squad accompanied by a club physio to ensure he suffers no setback in his recovery from a hamstring problem.
Mane made a successful return to Premier League duty last weekend, but there is understandable concern he is eased back to full match fitness during the international break.
Jurgen Klopp has asked club physio, Scott McAuley, to head to Africa with his star player, the Senegal Football Association happy to oblige as a fit Mane can assist both club and country.
Senegal has two games which will determine their qualification for the World Cup. They have back-to-back fixtures with South Africa and need two more points to secure their place in Russia.
Klopp, who is also in South Africa enjoying a break, said last week he hoped if Senegal wins their first match in Polokwane on Friday they will leave him out of the second game in Dakar on Tuesday and allow him to return to Merseyside.
Mane was injured playing for his country during the last international break and he demonstrated how much he was missed with two assists in the 4-1 win over West Ham.
Klopp is hopeful both Mane and Philippe Coutinho will be fit for his next Premier League game with Southampton.
Coutinho, meanwhile, continues to be courted by Barcelona with his former Liverpool team-mate Luis Suarez suggesting the Brazilian is an ideal fit for the Nou Camp.
“I know him as a person and as a player because I played with him, but everyone knows what Coutinho can contribute,” said Suarez. “He is a footballer, who today, plays at a very high level.
“Any player would want to come to Barca. Obviously, he must have because he’s a player who has ambition.
“He went through a difficult and very complicated moment but as a professional, he continued to show how good a player he is and the personal quality he has.
“Despite trying to leave Liverpool he continued helping the team and working. He is demonstrating as a professional who has the ambition to take a step further.”
Barcelona is expected to renew their efforts to recruit the Brazilian in January.
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