'Health is above football' – Nagelsmann cautious on Mane's World Cup spot

By Sports Desk November 11, 2022

Bayern Munich head coach Julian Nagelsmann says the club will continue to assess Sadio Mane's injury after he was named in Senegal's World Cup squad.

The forward suffered a knock to his right fibula head in the midweek thrashing of Werder Bremen and will not be available for Saturday's trip to Schalke, Bayern's final game before the tournament in Qatar and their winter break.

Reports initially suggested Mane may not be fit to compete at the World Cup, but he was named in the squad for the Lions of Teranga on Friday.

Nagelsmann does not consider the matter closed, however, and has made it clear Mane should not play unless he is fully fit.

"We'll do another check in 10 days and then we'll see how the recovery is going," he said in Friday's press conference.

"Of course, Senegal would like him to play. But if he's in pain, he can't play. Health is above football. That's the case with us and also with everyone else."

Bayern moved to the top of the Bundesliga after last week's win at Hertha Berlin having seen previous leaders Union Berlin lose to Bayer Leverkusen, before opening up a four-point gap in midweek, displaying a considerable improvement from the opening rounds of the campaign.

After starting the season with three wins, Bayern went four without victory, but have since won six from seven, including three points in each of their last five Bundesliga outings.

Nagelsmann praised his squad for the turnaround and outlined the desire to head into the mid-season break on the back of another win.

"It was a turbulent half-year, probably one of the most turbulent in my professional life. We want to win the game against Schalke tomorrow, then we have done a good job in all competitions. Not a perfect one, but a good one," he added.

"As a whole team, we have also developed again since the early crisis. If we go into the break as championship leaders, then that's very valuable. We definitely want to maintain our lead."

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