Last week, the decision was made that Sadio Mané would undergo knee surgery to repair a damaged meniscus and that the Liverpool and Senegal star would miss the remainder of the season because of it. Today, we know that surgery will take place tomorrow, and also that it will be to repair rather than trim the damaged meniscus.
That option is considered better for Mané's long-term prospects, but it also makes it absolutely certain now that his season is over. If instead the club and player had chosen to remove the damaged piece of cartilage, there is an outside chance he could have returned in time to play in the final few games of the 2016-17 season.
That was the choice made by Luis Suarez a few years back when a torn meniscus left it looking like he would miss out on the 2014 World Cup. It took him less than a month to recover, though his presence didn't do much for Uruguay's chances in the competition and also allowed him to be on the pitch to bite Giorgio Chiellini.
It was also a choice that could rob the player of speed and agility as he ages and could hurt him in the later stages of his career, though as yet Suarez shows no sign of slowing down. For Liverpool and Mané, though, the choice was easy. Repair, an expected eight week layoff, and a return in time for the 2017-18 pre-season.
"Now it's really sure," Jürgen Klopp noted when asked about the club's plans for Mané. "It's clear his season is over. That's what I would actually have expected when I saw the video after the game, and he's maybe lucky in the situation that not more happened. But we are close to the end of the season so he will have a longer break."
The choice to repair the damaged, torn meniscus along with that longer layoff and less pressure for Mané to return to action within a set timeframe will hopefully mean a full recovery for the player and no longer term impact heading into next season.