Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has delivered an update on injured Guinean midfielder, Naby Keita stating that he is ahead of schedule in his recovery following his early return to training reports Completesports.com.
Keita was initially ruled out for up to eight weeks after sustaining a muscle injury in Liverpool’s first-leg 3-0 loss to Barcelona at the Camp Nou last month but his inclusion in the Reds traveling squad for a training camp in Marbella has raised hopes of the midfielder featuring in the UEFA Champions League final and at the 2019 Africa Cup Of Nations for Guinea.
The Reds booked their place in the final of the Champions League thanks to a stunning 4-3 aggregate win over Barcelona – having trailed 3-0 from the first-leg – but had to do so without the trio of Keita, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino in the second leg at Anfield.
“Keita is, I would say, a bit ahead of schedule, but that doesn’t mean anything for the final,” Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com.
“He (Keita) is now doing straight runs and all of that stuff, he feels comfortable with 50 percent intensity and these things – but there is still a way to go.”
“I know about the issues with Guinea and stuff like that; we don’t want to keep a player out if he can play – maybe they think it is like this, but it is not like this. For me, it would be good if Naby Keita would be 100 percent fit and could play the Africa Cup of Nations, to be 100 percent honest.
“But we don’t know, we will see, and we need to work together with their medical department because in the end, a player who is fit – from my point of view – who can play, should play for his country.”
“If he is not 100 percent fit, he cannot play. That’s how it is. It is not important whether you play for your country or your club.”
“That’s what we try to make sure. It looks good, very positive and we will see if there is a chance.”
Keita’s Guinea are in group B of the tournament and will face Madagascar, Burundi, and Nigeria.