Jurgen Klopp confirmed that Sadio Mane is an option for him ahead of Liverpool’s Premier League opener against Norwich City.
Liverpool gave Mane an extended break following his participation in the Africa Cup of Nations, which saw him help Senegal reach the final on July 19.
The 27-year-old has since missed all of the club’s pre-season fixtures, including last weekend’s Community Shield defeat to Manchester City.
But Mane returned to Liverpool’s training base earlier this week and has enjoyed a solid return to training. In fact, Klopp revealed that he’s already looking sharp and could be in contention to face Norwich.
Should the Reds boss give him the green light, Mane will have the chance to match Teddy Sheringham’s 24-year record of scoring in four consecutive opening league matches.
“He had only two weeks off, so he didn’t lose a lot and that’s the good news,” said Klopp on the club’s website.
“He looks fit. Yes, he is an option.
“Yesterday was the first session with the team because Monday he came in about four o’clock or so when we’d already left and Tuesday the team was off and he had his individual session.
“Yes, he [was] now with the team for the first time and looks absolutely OK, in good spirits and looking forward to it.”
James Milner, on the other hand, has struggled with a minor muscle issue lately. It caused him to miss the Community Shield as a precaution, with Klopp keen to avoid any long-term injury for his vice-captain.
Like Mane, however, the 33-year-old midfielder has returned to training and looks good for Friday.
“[He is] good. No [other concerns],” Klopp said on Milner.
“Millie trained yesterday with the team 100 per cent. He would have probably trained on Tuesday with the team, but we were not in. He will be fine.”
The Liverpool and Norwich match will take place at Anfield, with kick-off set for 21:00 (CET).