Mane returned to training on 5 August and was a second half substitute in the Premier League opener against Norwich four days later. But he insists a short summer break is nothing new for him and that tiredness is something that only exists in your head.
“I think I'm ready [to start]. Tiredness, I think, is here [pointing to his head] – for sure,” the Senegalese superstar is quoted as saying by LiverpoolFC.com.
"I've been playing professional football a long time [and] I think I never even have holidays more than 20 days [for the last] seven years now. I'm used to it and, for sure, I'm ready. I'm here, so let's do it."
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp spoke during the summer about the need to lessen the burden on players, while a recent report from FIFPro condemned the increasingly dangerous workloads piled on modern footballers without sufficient rest and recovery.
Mane was specifically named in the report as an individual who played in a total of 70 games for club and country in 2018/19 and travelled 100,000km in the process.
The report, titled ‘At the Limit’, insisted that player health must be protected by a mandatory four-week break in the summer and a mandatory two-week mid-season break. It was also recommended that back-to-back games without five days of rest in between should be limited.
With Liverpool playing in seven competitions this season it was calculated that the Reds could play up to 67 games over a 300-day period, an average of a game every 4.5 days.
Despite previously expressing reservations, Klopp played down concerns about a lack of preparedness following a short pre-season when asked about the subject this week, insisting that Liverpool are no worse off than anyone else in that respect.
“It was a difficult pre-season and you never know exactly how it will work out then, especially in the early games of the season,” the boss is quoted as saying by LiverpoolFC.com.
“Physically, we are there now, exactly where we want to be. Not at 100 per cent – we will have that in probably September, October, whenever, but again it is the same for all the teams. All the rest is no problem,” he added.