Senegal confirm Sadio Mane will miss 'first games' of World Cup

Senegal have announced that talisman Sadio Mane will miss the "first games" of the World Cup in Qatar.

The Bayern Munich forward had been an injury doubt for the tournament due to a leg injury he sustained in the 6-1 win against Werder Bremen on November 8. 

The Bundesliga champions said the injury was "to the head of his right fibula" and he missed the game against Schalke.

French outlet L'Equipe claimed the injury was serious enough to keep the player out of the tournament in the Middle East in a huge blow to the Africa Cup of Nations champions.

But the Africans have called up the six-goal striker regardless, but now it has been reported that they could be without their star man as the tournament gets underway.

"We will have to rely on playing the first games without Sadio and win without Sadio because we have 25 players apart from Sadio," said Senegal FA board member Abdoulaye Sow.

"No one would have wanted it, but that's what's happened to us."

Senegal play the Netherlands on November 21, before taking on the host nation Qatar on November 25. They then face Ecuador on November 29 to end their Group A campaign.

Netherlands skipper and former team-mate of Mane, Virgil van Dijk, said he was not expected to face Mane at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha.

"I don't think he will play (against Holland)," said Van Dijk. "I was feeling sad for him, first and foremost. I'm not happy in this case as I've been in that situation where I missed the Euros.

"We as players work so hard to get to this stage and he has been such an important figure in that group for their country. I know for a fact that he will put a brave face on it, but it's tough and I feel sorry for him."

READ MORE: France lose forward Christopher Nkunku to injury shortly before World Cup

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