According to widespread reports today, Naby Keïta has left the Guinea camp at the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, flying out of the country to meet with Liverpool medical staff who will assesses the player’s re-injured thigh.
Liverpool had a doctor on hand to assess Keïta following Guinea’s 1-0 loss to Nigeria last Wednesday, and that assessment was part of why Keïta was rested for Guinea’s final group stage game—a 2-0 victory over Burundi yesterday.
However, with Keïta still in pain as of Sunday night, the decision was made to allow him to leave to seek further medical advice and treatment, but the hope and expectation amongst those in the Guinea camp are that he will return.
That’s because Guinea, despite finishing third in their group, still have more football to play. While they don’t yet know who they’ll face in the knockouts, they do know they’ll be one of the four highest third-place finishers and advance.
At least tentatively, then, Keïta is expected to be back in Egypt in three days—though if the player was still struggling with pain on Sunday after Wednesday’s re-injury that is a timeline that quite frankly seems optimistic for Guinea.
It’s worth remembering, perhaps, that Liverpool’s original assessment was Keïta wouldn’t be fit to train following his initial injury until the start of July, meaning he should have been just starting now—not playing competitive matches a week ago.
Hopefully, then, if the club’s medical team can’t get Keïta to a place where it’s safe for him to play again, he won’t be back in Egypt to that three day timeline and risking further injury yet again.