Sadio Mane is nearing a return to full fitness, but Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp ruled the attacker out of their trip to Asia.

The Senegal international, 25, is continuing his recovery from a knee injury that ended his 2016-17 season in April.

Mane has resumed running with the first team, but he will miss the Premier League Asia Trophy, including a clash against Crystal Palace on Wednesday.

Klopp is optimistic about the star attacker’s fitness, saying the club had plenty of time.

“He is really, really good. He is close; he is closing on coming back to team training,” the German told the club’s website.

“In this moment, we think it will be when we are in Asia, so then it makes no sense to take him to Asia because he needs to then do the first steps in kind of team training.

“We will see how we can do it; maybe [some of] the under-23s will be here, so when he can start this [training] then we can use this opportunity, but we have to wait.

“On Tuesday morning he was part of the running, so he is first-team training if you want and that looked really good. I think he is getting better, but it is how it is after a long time – you need to build a little bit of muscle again in the quad and thigh, which is important.

“There is no risk with him because he is a naturally fit boy and in the moment when he can start to be a real part of the sessions, he will then immediately be fit again.

“We have not all the time in the world, but we have time and we will use it.”

Liverpool beat Tranmere Rovers 4-0 on Wednesday and face Wigan in another friendly before their trip to Hong Kong.

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