Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has tested positive for COVID-19, the club confirmed on Friday evening – just days after teammate Thiago Alcantara tested positive for the coronavirus.
Thiago missed Thursday night's Carabao Cup penalty shootout defeat to Arsenal as he continues to self-isolate, and Mane will miss Sunday evening's trip to Aston Villa – although the upcoming international break will give him a little time to recover without missing games for his club.
A club statement read: "Sadio Mane has tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently self-isolating according to the necessary guidelines. The forward, who started and scored in Monday’s 3-1 victory over Arsenal, has displayed minor symptoms of the virus but feels in good health overall.
"However, like with Thiago Alcantara, Liverpool Football Club are – and will continue to – follow all protocols relating to COVID-19 and Mane will self-isolate for the required period of time."
The Merseyside derby could be Mane's first game back after a period of self-isolation if he recovers in good time, with rivals Everton looking more of a test than they have in a number of seasons. That being the case, Mane – who has started the season well, scoring three times in three games, could have a crucial part to play in that match.
New signing Diogo Jota is likely to make his first Premier League start in Mane's absence.
The presence of two positive tests in a short timeframe may cause some concern at Melwood, where a lot of work has been done to minimise any chance of an outbreak within the squad and staff.
Monday's release of COVID-19 testing results showed the highest number of cases in one round (10) since the season restarted, as numbers across the country continue to peak for a second time.
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Source : 90min