Naby Keïta’s latest injury for Guinea at the Africa Cup of Nations means the Reds midfielder could be a doubt for the club’s start of the season.
The 24-year-old has been forced to return to Liverpool for further tests on Tuesday.
This comes after club doctors conducted a medical assessment to ascertain the extent of the injuries he sustained against Nigeria out at the Guinea training camp in Egypt
It seems Keïta has aggravated the adductor injury he picked up against Barcelona in the semi-final first leg, which made him an unfortunate absentee for our Champions League final win in Madrid.
🏡| Naby Keita has returned home.
(Via Snapchat) pic.twitter.com/SfvabsK1Um
— The Kopite (@TheKopiteOFF) July 1, 2019
“Yes, he has gone for a medical consultation [at Liverpool] – as you know he was the victim of a lot of heavy challenges in the game against Nigeria,” Guinea’s press officer, Mamadou Camara, revealed to the BBC.
“So he consulted with medical staff over there [at Liverpool] and they asked him to come back for two days.
“The idea is that he is here to play in the last 16 but I don’t think we can say he will 100%.”
“After so many heavy tackles, the coach withdrew him before the end of the match and the day after, he was examined here and he tried to do some training but the medicine did not help relieve the pain.
“He picked this injury up in the semi-finals of the European Champions League and he has been training and playing but never at 100% and we have to think about after the Nations Cup.
“I don’t think he can play a full 90 minutes at the moment but if he can start and then be taken off that’s a very good thing.
“The manager will have to keep managing him as he has been doing.”
Arguably, Keïta should never have flown out to Egypt for AFCON after it was revealed Jürgen Klopp counselled caution and suggested he would not be ready to play until July.
After Guinea manager Paul Put insisted that Keïta be declared fit to play, the Reds eventually conceded despite him not being fit to start their pre-AFCON friendly against Egypt and only managing a substitute appearance in a 2-2 draw with Madagascar.
— DiskiAfrika (@DiskiAfrika) July 1, 2019
Naby did, however, start the second match – a rough affair against Nigeria – which saw him limp off after 70 minutes with what appeared to be an exacerbation of his adductor, thigh issue.
While the word from Guinea is that they hope he can play in their first last 16 bout on Friday, it seems more likely that he’s going to have to stay in Liverpool rather than flying back out to Egypt.
If it is another adductor issue that Naby has picked up, it could be weeks out of action for the dynamic Reds midfielder, throwing into doubt his ability to kick-off with the Reds in August.
As the Mirror suggest, even three weeks on the sidelines would be enough to preclude him from playing as Klopp would demand that Keïta undergoes extra rehabilitation and training to check out the injury first.
It could be a huge blow for Keïta, possibly spelling the end of his AFCON dream as well as denying him the opportunity to star for the Reds.
The Reds No. 8 finally found form towards the end of his first season at Anfield, and if the diagnosis is even more severe he might not even get on the pitch until September.