Naby Keita went to play for Guinea in the Africa Cup of Nations but his tournament was cut short as he came back to Liverpool.

Naby Keita picked up a muscle injury during Guinea’s match vs Nigeria and was taken off in the 70th minutes. Following this, he came back to Melwood for a further assessment and was scheduled to return back for the AFCON.

“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 said after the injury.

“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.”

The absence of Naby Keita was certainly a big blow for Guinea but there is a huge silver lining as Liverpool have now confirmed that the midfielder will be fit for the pre-season games hinting at the fact that he will also be ready before the new season begins.

“Liverpool expect Naby Keita to be fit to begin his pre-season training programme later this month,” the club confirmed(as reported).

“The midfielder sustained a minor adductor strain during Africa Cup of Nations duty with Guinea.

“The injury ended Keita’s participation in the tournament and he returned to Melwood for further examination by the club’s medical team.

“However, he is set to be ready to start pre-season training as planned when back on Merseyside following an end-of-season break later in July.”

The return of Naby Keita will obviously be bad news for Chelsea who take on Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup next month. The midfielder had been in fine form for the Reds before he picked up an injury late last season and given that he can get a full pre-season training, it will not be hard for him to get back to his best.

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