LONDON, United Kingdom, Jul 6 – Liverpool’s injured midfielder Naby Keita will be sidelined for the rest of the Africa Cup of Nations, the Premier League club confirmed on Saturday.
Keita returned to Merseyside on Monday for assessment by Liverpool’s medical staff after aggravating the adductor muscle injury which ruled him out of the Champions League final.
The 24-year-old limped out of Guinea’s second match against Nigeria after 70 minutes and had to miss their win over Burundi.
Keita originally sustained the injury in the Champions League semi-final first leg in Barcelona.
He won’t be back in time for the rest of the tournament, but Liverpool expect Keita to be fit to begin his pre-season training programme later this month.
“The injury ended Keita’s participation in the tournament and he returned to Melwood for further examination by the club’s medical team,” a statement on Liverpool’s website read.
“However, he is set to be ready to start pre-season training as planned when back on Merseyside following an end-of-season break later in July.”
Guinea are due to face Algeria in the last 16 on Sunday.
Keita’s first year with the Champions League winners was littered with niggling injuries.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said he would be ruled out for two months after the injury against Barca.
However, Guinea coach Paul Put disputed this and insisted on the player reporting for Africa Cup of Nations duty.
Keita came on as a 62nd-minute substitute in their opening match against Madagascar and was then forced off against Nigeria.