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Naby Keïta “Not 100%” Ahead of Africa Cup of Nations

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The Guinean international isn’t ready to play yet but is hopeful he will be in time to face Madagascar.

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Barcelona v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: First Leg Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

When Naby Keïta suffered an adductor injury against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final this season, the suggestion at the time was that his season was likely over—and not just his season with Liverpool.

The prognosis at the time was for a minimum two-month layoff, which would mean Keïta missing out until early July, half way through this summer’s Africa Cup of Nations. Guinea, though, have pushed for an early return.

Having first cast doubt on Keïta being as badly injured as Liverpool claimed, Guinea are currently in Morocco at a pre-tournament training camp, and Keïta has joined them—though he isn’t yet in full training.

“I’m not 100%, but when I was in Liverpool I had already started training with the ball,” Keïta told reporters this week. “To reassure the fans, my teammates, and the coach, I think I’ll be ready for the first match for Guinea.”

Between the push by his federation to be ready and now Keïta’s own words, there seems little doubt that the midfielder will be on the pitch when Guinea face Madagascar in their opening game on June 22nd.

Whether he will actually be 100% fit at that point is another question, and hopefully the rush for Keïta to return in time for a game Guinea should win even without him won’t have a negative long-term impact on the player.