Football

Mane could be out for rest of the season

English Premier League
LIVERPOOL BOURNEMOUTH

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp has admitted that it is possible leading scorer Sadio Mane's season could be over.

The Senegal international was forced off with a knee injury during last Saturday's Merseyside Derby 3-1 win over Everton, but the club's medical staff have not yet been able to properly assess the problem.

Further examinations will take place, but Klopp admitted that he could be without the 13-goal winger for their final eight matches as they seek to secure Champions League qualification.

Asked whether the injury could be season-ending, the Reds boss said: "Unfortunately, that is possible, but why should I say it now when I don't know?

"The knee is swollen and we have to wait for the final assessment. It is not 100 per cent clear.

"The only thing I can say for sure is that he will not be available for tomorrow.

"It is not very positive when it is like this. I cannot say at this exact time, so we have to wait."

Klopp, however, is quietly confident that they can handle the situation.

He said: "We can cope with Mane's absence, but we don't have a one-for-one replacement. That is the truth. We hope Daniel Sturridge can be available."

Divock Origi is confident of stepping into Mane's boots.

The Belgium striker has set his sights on being not only a leader of the line, but also a go-to man in the team after scoring his first Premier League goal in three months against Everton.

He said: "My goal is to be a leader in this team and it is very possible, so I won't rest until I reach my goal and, when I reach my goals, I set other goals.

"I don't think there is anything to prove for myself... I feel very ready, I feel good and fit. I feel even better than last year."

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is close to full fitness after missing five matches with a foot problem, while striker Sturridge could return after recovering from a hip injury.

But, attacker Adam Lallana remains absent with the thigh problem sustained with England late last month. - WIRE SERVICES

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