Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita has been forced to leave the Guinea squad this week after suffering an injury setback while on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations.
The 24-year-old played an important role for the Merseyside giants last year, making 33 appearances for Jurgen Klopp’s side to help them compete on multiple fronts.
He was forced to miss the second leg against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals as well as the Final with a groin injury, and it has been reported that he may well have suffered a setback with the same problem this summer.
According to The Mirror, he has aggravated groin and thigh problems and has returned to England, which in the more immediate future will be a massive blow for Guinea’s chances at the Africa Cup of Nations.
However, it’s added in the report that it could impact Liverpool too as he may be a doubt for the start of the new domestic campaign which will be a real headache for Keita and Klopp with further tests set to be carried out this week to determine the full extent of the issues.
Naturally though, even if it isn’t too serious, he will now face an unwanted distraction of having to recover and avoid aggravating the problem further in the coming weeks with pre-season around the corner.
That in turn could leave him short of full match fitness and struggling to get up to speed for the start of the campaign, with the report above noting that it could be anything from several weeks to over a month he could face on the sidelines.
That’s not ideal for any player looking to make a positive start to a new season, but Liverpool and Klopp will hope that it isn’t too serious.