Senegal have reportedly been dealt a major blow ahead of the World Cup with Sadio Mane seemingly set to miss the tournament due to injury.
On Tuesday evening, the forward needed to be withdrawn during the first half of Bayern Munich’s Bundesliga fixture.
This was against Werder Bremen.
With the game at 1-1, the 30-year-old signalled to the Bayern dugout that he wanted to be withdrawn, a development which naturally led to fears that he would be sidelined for the upcoming tournament in Qatar.
Speaking after the game, boss Julian Nagelsmann indicated that Mane had suffered “a knock to the head of his tibia” and that he was hopeful that it was “not a big injury”.
However, according to L’Equipe, tests have revealed that Mane requires a number of weeks in the treatment room with a tendon injury.
Should that prognosis be confirmed in due course, it will represent a huge blow for both the player and his country, who have qualified for their second successive World Cup.
Mane was part of the squad which competed in Russia four years ago, the Lions of Teranga missing out on a place in the knockout stages despite collecting four points from their three fixtures.
Nevertheless, Senegal are due to travel to Qatar in far better shape to make an impact after they won the Africa Cup of Nations last year.
Mane, then at Liverpool, featured heavily and scored the winning penalty during the shootout success over Egypt in the final.
Mane is also Senegal’s top goalscorer in history, contributing 34 goals from 93 appearances, and has netted 11 times in all competitions since moving to the Allianz Arena in the summer.
Depending on the specifics regarding Mane’s injury, there is a scenario where Mane may still feature in the 26-player squad in the hope that he can recover in time for the knockout stages.
The last 16 does not begin until December 3, theoretically giving Mane three-and-a-half weeks to give himself a chance of featuring at that stage of the tournament.