Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho will miss their Premier League trip to West Ham United on Saturday, but forward Sadio Mane could make a return at the London Stadium, according to manager Jurgen Klopp.
Coutinho is set to miss his third consecutive match with a thigh problem, while Mane trained with the first-team squad on Thursday for the first time since suffering a hamstring injury on international duty last month.
“Phil is not available,” Klopp told a news conference on Friday. “With the rest, it will be close.
“Sadio trained for the first time with the team (on Thursday) and looked really, really good.
“He looks like he’s ready for 20-25 minutes but we have to wait and see how his body reacts from Thursday’s session.
“It was pretty intense for him as it was his first football session for a long time but he did really well.”
Despite his injury, Mane was included in Senegal manager Aliou Cisse’s 25-man squad for their final round of World Cup qualifiers against South Africa on Nov. 10 and Nov. 14.
Klopp said he has no problem with the call-up but he would like Mane to be rested for the second match if the African nation secure their place at Russia 2018.
“We cannot sit here, ignore the situation of Senegal and say, ‘we don’t care if they play at the World Cup’. That’s not nice and it’s not right,” he added.
“We are trying to get in contact with the Senegal FA. If he has a few days training with them and they get the points they need (to qualify), then maybe we can talk to them and ask if it is necessary to play the second game.”
Klopp also confirmed midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum (ankle) and defender Dejan Lovren (thigh) will be assessed ahead of Saturday’s kickoff.
The Merseyside club are sixth in the league with four wins, four draws and two defeats this season.