Sadio Mane has been included in Senegal’s World Cup squad despite suffering an injury this week that threatened his participation in the tournament.
Mane was forced off while playing for Bayern Munich on Tuesday as the German club confirmed the 30-year-old has suffered an injury “to the head of his right fibula”.
The forward was subsequently ruled out of Bayern’s match against Schalke this weekend while the results of further tests have determined he does not require surgery.
Senegal manager Aliou Cisse explained upon announcing his 26-player squad for Qatar that he did not want to rule Mane out of the World Cup and wanted to give this year’s Ballon d’Or runner-up every chance of playing in the tournament.
“We are monitoring the situation and have sent one of our doctors to assess him,” Cisse said on Friday. “We want the situation to evolve in two-three weeks. I don’t want to rule him out.”
Bayern manager Julian Nagelsmann said Mane is due a check up with the club in “10 days”, which would be after Senegal’s opening game of the tournament against the Netherlands on November 21.
“Of course Senegal would like him to play,” Nagelsmann said. “But if he’s in pain, he can’t play. Health is above football. That’s the case with us and also with everyone else.”
Mane is Senegal’s record scorer and converted the decisive penalty to win the country their first African Cup of Nations title earlier this year. Mane then scored another winning penalty against Egypt to send Senegal to the World Cup finals two months later.
The African champions open their tournament against Netherlands before playing Qatar and Ecuador in Group A.
Chelsea defender Kalidou Koulibaly will captain an experienced side which also includes Blues goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, Everton midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye, Nottingham Forest midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate and Watford forward Ismaila Sarr.
Confirmed Senegal squad
Goalkeepers: Edouard Mendy (Chelsea), Seny Dieng (QPR), Alfred Gomis (Rennes)
Defenders: Youssouf Sabaly (Real Betis), Kalidou Koulibaly (Chelsea), Abdou Diallo (RB Leipzig), Pape Abou Cisse (Olympiacos), Formose Mendy (Amiens), Fode Ballo-Toure (AC Milan), Ismail Jakobs (Monaco)
Midfielders: Idrissa Gueye (Everton), Cheikhou Kouyate (Nottingham Forest), Nampalys Mendy (Leicester), Pape Gueye (Marseille), Pape Sarr (Tottenham), Moustapha Name (Pafos), Mamadou Loum (Reading), Krepin Diatta (Monaco)
Forwards: Sadio Mane (Bayern Munich), Ismaila Sarr (Watford), Bamba Dieng (Marseille), Boulaye Dia (Salernitana), Famara Diedhiou (Alanyaspor), Nicolas Jackson (Villarreal), Iliman Ndiaye (Sheffield United)