Naby Keita fitness update from Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has given an update on the fitness of midfielder Naby Keita.
The 24-year-old has been sidelined with a thigh injury he sustained in the Champions League semi-final first leg defeat to Barcelona at Camp Nou.
He was initially expected to be sidelined for eight weeks, which would have ruled him out until mid-June.
But Keita has joined his team-mates for their training camp in Marbella this week, and Klopp has revealed the player is ahead of schedule in his recovery.
The German boss remains cautious about Keita’s potential availability for the clash with Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid.
And he was also wary about discussing the former RB Leipzig man’s possible involvement at the Africa Cup of Nations for Guinea.
According to Liverpool’s official website, Klopp said: “Naby is, I would say, a bit ahead of schedule, but that doesn’t mean anything for the final. He is now doing straight runs and all of that stuff, he feels comfortable with 50 per cent 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 would be 100 per cent fit and could play the Africa Cup of Nations, to be 100 per cent 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 per cent 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 had a slow start to his Anfield career, but had hit a run of good form in the closing stages of the season.