Liverpool star Mane set to be available for Senegal after head injury

News Desk
Senegal forward Sadio Mane

Sadio Mane is set to be available for Senegal’s Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final after suffering a head injury in their last fixture, according to reports.

The Liverpool forward received treatment after a collision with the Cape Verde goalkeeper during Tuesday’s last-16 win and played on despite appearing to be initially knocked out.

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But after scoring the opening goal, the 29-year-old lay down on the pitch holding his head and had to be helped off and eventually substituted.

Reports in Africa say that the Senegal team doctor is confident there was no concussion and that he should be fit to play on Sunday against Equatorial Guinea.

The Senegal Football Federation put pictures on social media of the Liverpool man on an exercise bike on Thursday with the caption “Sadio is in good shape”.

Brain injury charity Headway deputy chief executive Luke Griggs accused Senegal of putting the result ahead of Mane’s safety, but he looks set to be involved.

Mane is a key part of Senegal’s ambition of winning a first Africa Cup of Nations and his inclusion will make his side heavy favourites against Equatorial Guinea.

Equatorial Guinea, who finished fourth in the 2015 edition of the tournament, made it to the last eight with a penalty shoot-out win over Mali in the last 16.

Mane’s Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah will spearhead Egypt in Sunday’s other quarter-final as they take on Morocco.

Salah, who was part of the Pharaohs side that failed on home soil in 2017, said winning the tournament would mean more than the Premier League or Champions League titles he has lifted with Liverpool.

“It’s my country, what I love the most. This trophy for me would be completely different, would be the closest one to my heart,” he said in a press conference.

“We were close before to win this African Cup, we gave it everything but we were not lucky to win it but it’s OK.

“Now we are here in the new one, we have to fight for it, we have to give everything to win it, and I’m sure the players have the same feeling.”

Morocco have not got past the last eight of the tournament since they finished runners-up in 2004.