Naby Keita is facing a battle to be fit for the start of the Premier League season after returning to Liverpool for treatment on an injury.
Guinea midfielder Naby Keita has left the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt to return to Melwood to be assessed by the club’s doctors.
The 24-year-old missed the Champions League final with an adductor injury he picked up against Barcelona in May. He was initially expected to miss the Africa Cup of Nations, but deemed himself fit enough, despite admitting he was “not 100 percent”.
The Daily Mirror report that Liverpool “reluctantly agreed” to their No.8’s release for the tournament last month, and suggest the player could now face “a further month or more” out.
Keita flew to England from Cairo on Sunday, but is expected to return to Egypt on Wednesday.
“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,” Mamadou Camara, the Guinea press officer, told 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 be 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.”