Jurgen Klopp has revealed that he is unsure of the extent of Sadio Mane's hamstring injury that the Liverpool star picked up on international duty.
The Senegal international picked up a recurrence of the strain, that had kept him out of action for the Reds' past five matches, after he helped his national side qualify for the 2018 World Cup thanks to a 2-0 win over South Africa last Friday.
Speaking to the club's official site about Mane's latest setback, Klopp explained that his medical team would need to assess the issue when the 25-year-old returns to Liverpool's Melwood training base on Tuesday.
Sadio Mane injury while on international duty is not serious at all. Expect to be back with the team early next week.— Mootaz Chehade (@MHChehade) November 12, 2017
He said: “Specifically on him returning to Melwood early to be with us; obviously 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.
“At this stage we haven’t seen Sadio yet to properly assess the extent, but what is clear is that we will have to stay on top of this for the rest of the week and make sure we are careful in how we look after him."
Mane had initially picked up the strain whilst, ironically, on Senegal duty during the October international break and missed every one of Liverpool's matches in the following four weeks.
He returned to full fitness ahead of the Lions of Teranga's crunch play-off replay with South Africa, but sustained a recurrence of the injury in that game.
Despite being frustrated at losing a key player to the same knock, Klopp insisted that he 'respected' Senegal's wish to play Mane and the player's desire to feature for his country.
FOR CRYING OUT LOUD SENEGAL— Oskar (@osk_mc) November 13, 2017
The German added: “There has been really strong communication between ourselves and the Senegal team management to ensure the player is properly protected and looked after.
"We respect how important he is for Senegal and therefore it must always be the case that they get to make the decision when he is under their care.
“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.
“So, in this moment all I can really 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.”