Sadio Mane relayed the emotions of every Liverpool fan as he clung onto Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for dear life during training on Thursday.
The Englishman continued on his comeback trail from injury having re-integrated with his teammates for the first time again earlier this week.
Ruptured cruciate ligaments have seen Oxlade-Chamberlain sidelined since last April’s Champions League semi-final first leg against Roma.
Having stepped up his recovery in recent months, the midfielder took a huge stride by re-joining full training during the club’s Marbella camp.
Not only did his return mark an enormous personal achievement, but it clearly served as a boost for the rest of the squad.
Though evidently part of a training game, there was certainly more to Mane’s hug than that of others…
Hugs all round in Marbella. 🤗 pic.twitter.com/axFypz6hxB
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 15, 2019
Reflecting his first session back earlier in the week, Oxlade-Chamberlain told LFCTV: “It’s good to be back. It gives you a good little boost just being back around the lads, you don’t really think about your knee or whatever your injury is. Just happy to get back out there and get on with it.”
Whilst the club will continue to handle his fitness with caution, there is a growing optimism he could be available for selection again from March onwards.