Injured Mane named in Senegal’s World Cup squad

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In this file photo, Senegal’s forward Sadio Mane (L) is challenged by Cape Verde’s defender Steven Fortes during the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 round of 16 football match between Senegal and Cape Verde at Stade de Kouekong in Bafoussam on January 25, 2022. Pius Utomi EKPEI / AFP

Ballon d’Or runner-up Sadio Mane was named in Senegal’s World Cup squad by coach Aliou Cisse on Friday despite of a recent injury.

Cisse said he hoped the condition of the Bayern Munich attacker would improve within a few weeks and declared himself “really optimistic” that the injury would not require an operation.

Mane’s involvement in the tournament was in doubt after he limped off during his club Bayern Munich’s 6-1 win over Werder Bremen on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old was diagnosed with an injury to his right fibula and will undergo further tests.

“I preferred to keep him in the group,” Cisse told reporters.

“Sadio Mane is an important player in our squad, it is important to continue to follow his injury, hoping that in two or three weeks there will be progress. But we are really optimistic.

“We will give ourselves all the necessary means to allow Sadio Mane to recover.”

Mane’s fitness has been a major cause of concern in Senegal, the current African champions, with state president Macky Sall tweeting on Wednesday: “Sadio, heart of a Lion! All my heart is with you!”

Senegal have been drawn in Group A and play the tournament opener against hosts Qatar on November 20, before going on to meet Netherlands and Ecuador.

AFP

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