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Naby Keita’s Availability Remains Unknown

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Liverpool’s all-action midfielder is watching the clock tick away his chances against Manchester City while recovering from a back injury.

SSC Napoli v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Group C Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

We’ve been waiting to hear news of Naby Keita’s recovery after severe back pain forced the Liverpool midfielder off the pitch at Napoli on Wednesday. The Guinean stayed overnight in the hospital in Naples for tests and care and flew privately back to Melwood after being given the all-clear from the Italian doctors.

Jürgen Klopp wasn’t particularly optimistic or worried about Keita’s recovery for Sunday’s match against Manchester City. The manager knows it’s a waiting game for Naby, as it was for Virgil Van Dijk’s ribs leading up to the trip to Napoli. Will the pain subside enough today or tomorrow for the player to train?

The good news: Nobody seems to know exactly what happened to Keita’s back but there’s a general sense that it’s not a serious issue.

“I’m not 100% sure,” said Klopp. “He had a back spasm, so we have to wait a little bit.

“He will be in today, if he can do something on the training ground, I don’t know.

“This morning I spoke to the doc but the doc didn’t know. We have to see him again in a few minutes and then we will make a decision.

“Of course, we don’t know in this moment if he can train then tomorrow. We have to see.

“It didn’t look too serious so there’s a chance but we don’t know.”

Keita’s runs from midfield and his creativity in the final third would be excellent skills to have on offer against Manchester City. A spot in the XI may be a tad hasty but the language from the club leads me to believe we could reasonably expect to see Keita recovered and in the squad at Anfield. Second half, super sub.