Sadio Mane has reportedly been ruled out of Senegal’s World Cup campaign after limping off during Bayern Munich’s clash against Werder Bremen with a tendon injury.
The former Liverpool forward was taken off just 20 minutes into Bayern’s 6-1 win over Bremen on Tuesday night – leading to huge fears about his fitness for Qatar less than two weeks before the tournament begins.
According to L’Equipe, he will play no part in the competition, dealing the reigning Africa Cup of Nations champions a massive blow. Mane is believed to have suffered a tendon injury, L”Equipe adds, and is set for “several weeks out”, handing his national team coach Aliou Cisse a major headache just days before announcing his World Cup squad.
His Bayern boss Julian Nagelsmann said the player would have an X-ray to determine the extent of the injury after initially saying he had taken a blow to his tibia – and that he was hopeful it was “not a big injury”.
“He took a knock to the head of his tibia,” he said. “It’s always uncomfortable. He has to have an X-ray. I hope nothing is wrong.
“I didn’t see him after the game, I hope it’s not a big injury. But I don’t know at the moment”, the Bayern boss continued. “We’ll see tomorrow and then give an update.”
Just 15 minutes into their encounter with Werder Bremen the 30-year-old went doing holding his right leg and signalled for Bayern’s medical team to come onto the pitch.
It’s clear that Nagelsmann didn’t want to risk furthering Mane’s injury and withdrew the Senegal star for former Manchester City winger Leroy Sane.
Mane’s absence will be felt massively in the Senegal camp – the man who has picked up 93 caps for his country and scored 34 times.
He was instrumental for the team on their way to winning this year’s Africa Cup of Nations as they beat Mane – who joined Bayern from Liverpool for £35million in the summer – has been excelling for his club during his first season in Germany. Hens scored 11 goals in 23 appearances in all competitions, laying on four assists.
Mane’s heart-breaking news comes amid increasing concern about players picking up injuries in the build up to Qatar that will rule them out of the competition – despite only picking up minor problems.
Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher – who implored Mane to stay at Anfield in the summer – has been one of the leading voices against the World Cup being staged in the winter amid fears players could easily miss out on taking part.
France have already received a double blow with Raphael Varane and Paul Pogba set to miss out, while Diogo Jota will miss the World Cup for Portugal.
“I think it’s an absolute disgrace that the World Cup is in the position it’s in, for lots of reasons,” Carragher said on CBS Sports. It was corrupt that Qatar were given the World Cup, we knew that at the time. They campaigned on having it in the summer, it is impossible there to have a World Cup in the summer with the temperature, it gets moved to the situation where it is now in the middle of the season.
“Players who spend their whole lives dreaming of playing in a World Cup and now could be [out injured] – as we’ve seen with Son and players all around the world. Varane was crying coming off the pitch at Stamford Bridge. That’s how close we are to a World Cup.
“An injury, a 10-day or two-week injury, is going to keep players out of a World Cup and it should not be happening. And it all started with FIFA giving Qatar the World Cup and then moving it. I think it’s absolutely disgusting.”
- The Daily Mail report