Sadio Mane, injured in Senegal's World Cup squad, is preparing for the match

Sadio Mane, injured in Senegal’s World Cup squad, is preparing for the match

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) – Sadio Mane was included in Senegal’s World Cup squad on Friday as coach Eliou Sisi gambled on one of the world’s best forwards after playing for Bayern Munich this week. He was fit and ready at the time after his lower right leg injury.

Cess said Senegal’s medical team expected Mane to need about a week to recover from the injury he sustained in a league game in Germany on Tuesday, and that The reason is to be ready for Senegal’s first match at the World Cup against the Netherlands on November 21 – on paper. In Group A, the strongest team Senegal will face Qatar.

But Cisse also raised the possibility that Mane might not be fit in time for the tournament, which would dash the hopes of a nation that relies on Mane delivering in big moments.

“Sadio Mane is a key player in our team. We will do everything we can to have Sadio Mane (available),” Sisi said in Senegal’s team announcement in Dakar, whether Mane will be in or out.

“Losing Sadio Mane is not something small for Senegal and African football. We have to guess if he is absent, but we still have time to see if he will be fit or not,” said Sisi. “I can’t talk about his absence even if in my head I have to consider it.”

Cess said Senegal had sent its team doctor to Munich to examine Mane’s injury and the “good news” was that he did not need surgery. Sis said the initial prognosis was that Manny would be out for about a week.

Bayern have already said Mane will miss this weekend’s Bundesliga game against Schalke with an injury but have not given an exact time frame for his recovery.

Mane is the focus of the Senegal team that won the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time this year and is rated by many as the best African team going into the World Cup. It has genuine hopes of making the quarter-finals and may be Africa’s best chance yet of reaching the last four at a World Cup for the first time.

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Mane, 30, has been crucial for Senegal, scoring the Africa Cup of Nations title-winning penalty against Egypt in February. A month later, he also scored the winning penalty in another shootout that saw Senegal beat Egypt again in a World Cup play-off in Qatar. He recently became his country’s all-time leading goalscorer and was runner-up for this year’s Ballon d’Or behind Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema.

The rest of the squad is as expected, with Cess keeping faith with the heart of the team that won the African Cup in Cameroon for Senegal’s first major title.

These include goalkeeper Edward Mendy and central defender Kalidou Koulibaly, midfielders Idrissa Gueye, Nampalis Mendy and Sheikho Koyate, and forwards Ismail Sarr and Famara Didio.

There’s also AC Milan defender Fede Balo Toure and Tottenham midfielder Pop Mather Saar, new contenders for starting spots.

The news of Mane’s injury sent his West African nation into a frenzy. Even Senegal president Macky Sall sent out a tweet hoping for Mane’s “speedy recovery” in time for the World Cup.

Senegal will play hosts Qatar, the Netherlands and Ecuador in Group A and Sisi said his side will continue to prepare as planned despite the situation with love.

“For now, there is no question of changing anything,” Sisi said.

World Cup rules allow teams to replace an injured player a day before the team’s opening game, meaning Senegal still have the option of bringing in another player if Mane does not recover in time. It will still be a huge blow to Senegalese hopes and the World Cup itself.

At 30, Mane is probably in his prime now and may not get another chance at the World Cup.

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Senegal:

Goalkeepers: Sini Deng (Queens Park Rangers), Alfredo Gomes (Rennis), Edward Mendy (Chelsea)

Defenders: Pope Abou Sisi (Olympiakos), Abdo Diallo (Leipzig), Ismail Jacobs (Monaco), Kaleido Koulibaly (Chelsea), Formos Mendy (Amiens), Youssef Sabali (Real Betis), Fodi Balo Toure (AC Milan).

Midfielders: Pati Cess (Rio Villacano), Crippen Detta (Monaco), Idrissa Gueye (Everton), Pepe Gueye (Marseille), Sheikho Kouiti (Nottingham Forest), Mamadou Lum (Reading), Nampalys Mendy (Leicester), Mustafa Nam ( PP), Pape Matar Sarr (Tottenham)

Forwards: Boulay Dia (Salernitana), Bamba Deng (Marseille), Nicolas Jackson (Villarreal), Sadio Mane (Bayern Munich), Aliman Ndayi (Sheffield United), Ismail Sarr (Watford), Famara Didio (Alaniaspor)

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