Liverpool's hopes of gaining ground in the Premier League title race have suffered a major blow after forward Sadio Mane was ruled out for up to six weeks with a hamstring injury.
Mane, who has scored three goals in five league appearances for the Reds this season, picked up the injury during the dying embers of Senegal’s World Cup qualifier against Cape Verde on Saturday.
The 25-year-old is set to miss as many as five top-flight matches, including crunch showdowns with Manchester United and Tottenham, as well as two Champions League clashes against Maribor.
Liverpool are in seventh place currently after an indifferent start to the campaign, seven points adrift of leaders Manchester City but only two behind Tottenham in third.
Despite winning only three of their seven matches so far, manager Jurgen Klopp expressed confidence after their 1-1 draw with Newcastle earlier this month that Liverpool would still challenge for the Premier League title this term.
Mane had already endured a turbulent start the season after serving a three-match domestic suspension having received a red card during his side’s 5-0 trouncing at City in September.