• "We have been waiting long enough for him now," jokes Jurgen Klopp as key forward steps up injury comeback.
  • Mane underwent surgery in April after damaging his meniscus in a 3-1 victory over Everton.
  • 25-year-old scheduled to take part in full training at Melwood before Hertha Berlin game and Audi Cup.

Influential forward Sadio Mane is set to resume full first-team training with Liverpool next week as he looks to rebuild his match fitness ahead of the 2017-18 Premier League opener against Watford on 12 August.

The Senegal international was ruled out for the remainder of the season in April after undergoing surgery following a knee injury suffered during a Merseyside derby victory over Everton. Such an injury was initially expected to keep him sidelined for approximately two months.

Mane missed domestic pre-season friendlies against Tranmere Rovers and Wigan Athletic and was not part of Liverpool's 25-man squad that flew to Hong Kong on Sunday (16 July) for the Premier League Asia Trophy.

Klopp explained that the 25-year-old was close to returning to training and would remain behind in order to work individually.

Providing a further update on Tuesday, the manager confirmed that Liverpool planned to involve Mane in full training at Melwood upon their return from the Far East next week.

He is then scheduled to fly with the rest of the squad to Germany, where the Reds are due to play Hertha Berlin in a friendly to celebrate both clubs' 125-year anniversaries before meeting hosts Bayern Munich and one of Atletico Madrid or Napoli in the Audi Cup. Liverpool finish their pre-season campaign against Athletic Bilbao in Dublin seven days before travelling to Vicarage Road.

"Sadio is on the way back," Klopp was quoted as saying by Liverpool's official website and Sky Sports. "The plan is he will come with us to Germany. The plan is he trains completely normally with us when we are back in England.

"We have been waiting long enough for him now. He is around [Melwood] all of the time and is in pretty good shape. Unfortunately he was not ready to train, but he looked good, it [the injury] looks good and so now he should be fine when we get back."

Mane's return will come as a major boost to Liverpool. The former Metz and Red Bull Salzburg star quickly established himself alongside Philippe Coutinho as one of Klopp's most indispensable players following a £34m ($44.3m) summer switch from Southampton, scoring 13 goals and providing eight assists in 29 appearances across all competitions.

Liverpool will want him fighting fit for the start of the new campaign, which includes a two-legged play-off tie against an as of yet unknown opponent to determine whether or not the club will return to the group stages of the Champions League following a two-year absence.

Sadio Mane
Sadio Mane suffered a season-ending knee injury against Everton on 1 April Getty Images