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Keita to miss Champions League final for Liverpool

Credit: PA

Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita's recovery from a thigh problem is ahead of schedule but he is unlikely to be fit enough to feature in the Champions League final.

The Guinea international could, however, be back in time for the Africa Cup of Nations, which starts on June 21.

Keita tore an adductor muscle in the 3-0 semi-final first leg defeat in Barcelona and the initial prognosis was a two-month absence.

But having responded well to treatment the midfielder, who is out in Marbella with the rest of the squad preparing for the June 1 clash with Tottenham in Madrid, has now returned to running.

"Naby is, I would say, a bit ahead of schedule, but that doesn't mean anything for the final," manager Jurgen Klopp told liverpoolfc.com.

"He is now doing straight runs and all of that stuff, he feels comfortable with 50 per cent intensity and these things - but there is still a way to go.

"I know about the issues with Guinea and stuff like that; we don't want to keep a player out if he can play - maybe they think it is like this, but it is not like this.

"For me, it would be good if Naby would be 100 per cent fit and could play the Africa Cup of Nations, to be honest.

"But we don't know, we will see, and we need to work together with their medical department because in the end, a player who is fit - from my point of view - who can play, should play for his country.

"If he is not 100 per cent fit, he cannot play. That's how it is. It looks good, very positive and we will see if there is a chance."

Fit-again Firmino returns to Liverpool training

Credit: PA

Forward Roberto Firmino has given Liverpool a Champions League final boost by returning to training.

The Brazil international has missed the last three matches with a thigh problem but was able to take part in the first session of the squad's pre-final camp in Marbella.

Firmino was the first player to arrive on the south coast of Spain having attended slightly earlier than his team-mates for some individual sessions with strength and rehabilitation staff.

Liverpool said his reintroduction into full team training "will be carefully managed under their supervision, with specialised programmes planned over the coming days".

The 26-man squad is spending six days in Marbella before returning to England to finalise preparations for their June 1 meeting with Tottenham in Madrid.

Included in that group is Naby Keita, who continues his rehabilitation from a serious groin problem suffered almost three weeks ago and is not in contention for the final.

Defender Trent Alexander-Arnold has the chance to set a new record if he is selected in the XI to face Tottenham in Madrid.

Should that happen the 20-year-old will become the first player aged under 21 to start consecutive finals in Europe's premier club competition.

The previous youngest was AC Milan's Christian Panucci with AC Milan in 1994 and 1995.

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