Senegal include Sadio Mane in World Cup squad despite injury concerns
FIFA World Cup Senegal

Senegal manager Aliou Cisse has included Sadio Mane in his 26-man squad to travel to Qatar despite injury concerns surrounding the Bayern Munich forward.

Mane picked up a knock in the 20th minute of Bayern's 6 - 1 thrashing of Werder Bremen in the German Bundesliga on Tuesday. The 30-year-old forward had to be subbed off during the game as the injury did not look good.

Assistant manager Dino Toppmöller initially shrugged it off to give Senegal fans hope, saying that the knock was a slight one. However, it was revealed that the knock affected Mane's ACL and it was predicted that he would miss up to eight weeks.

His inclusion in the World Cup squad for Senegal not only comes as a surprise, but also gives credence to Toppmöller's initial comments on the issue. Mane will miss Bayern's final match before the World Cup break as a result of the knock, but is set to travel to Qatar with Senegal to attempt a coup on the global stage.

He is joined by most of the team with whom he won the 2021 African Cup of Nations, Senegal's first ever African title, in January.

Speaking at the press conference on Friday where he announced Mane's inclusion in the squad list in Dakar, Senegal, Cisse, who was the captain of the Senegal team that went all the way to the quarter final of the 2002 World Cup, said: "We are monitoring the situation and have sent one of our doctors to assess him.

"On Thursday, Sadio spent the whole day in Munich before travelling to Austria for further tests. The good news is that he does not need an operation.

"We want the situation to evolve in two-three weeks. I don't want to rule him out."

Many will be hoping that Mane, who finished behind Karim Benzema in the race for the 2022 Ballon d'Or, will be able to be fit in time for their group opener against the Netherlands on November 21.

The Teranga Lions' squad list is below.

Goalkeepers: Edouard Mendy (Chelsea), Seny Dieng (QPR), Alfred Gomis (Rennes).

Defenders: Youssouf Sabaly (Real Betis), Kalidou Koulibaly (Chelsea), Abdou Diallo (RB Leipzig), Pape Abou Cisse (Olympiacos), Formose Mendy (Amiens), Fode Ballo-Toure (AC Milan), Ismail Jakobs (Monaco).

Midfielders: Idrissa Gueye (Everton), Cheikhou Kouyate (Nottingham Forest), Nampalys Mendy (Leicester), Pape Gueye (Marseille), Pape Sarr (Tottenham), Moustapha Name (Pafos), Mamadou Loum (Reading), Pathe Ciss (Rayo Vallecano), Krepin Diatta (Monaco).

Forwards: Sadio Mane (Bayern Munich), Ismaila Sarr (Watford), Bamba Dieng (Marseille), Boulaye Dia (Salernitana), Famara Diedhiou (Alanyaspor), Nicolas Jackson (Villarreal), Iliman Ndiaye (Sheffield United).