'I'm ready‚' says Sadio Mane ahead of Bafana Bafana showdown
Sadio Mane expressed his delight at being back in action after recovering from a hamstring injury before hoping on a charter plane in the direction of Polokwane.
"I'm happy to be back‚ because it was not easy. I have no excuses now. I was hurt‚ but I worked hard to return.
"I'm ready‚” he told Senegalese reporters in Paris on Monday before a midnight departure for South Africa.
Mane and 20 other members of the Senegalese delegation are due to arrive in Polokwane on Tuesday afternoon.
They are flying in by chartered jet‚ with a refueling stop in Ghana.
The rest of the squad is in already in Limpopo but the majority of the Lions of Teranga’s European-based players gathered in Paris on Monday‚ held a brief training session with coach Aliou Cisse and then flew out late for Mzansi.
The 25-year-old Mane had initially been expected to miss the double confrontation with Bafana Bafana - at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Friday and in Dakar next Tuesday - because of a hamstring injury suffered in Senegal’s last World Cup qualifier‚ a 2-0 away victory in Praia over the Cape Verde Islands last month.
But his injury healed quicker than expected and he was in the starting line-up on Saturday for his Premier League club Liverpool as they won 4-1 away at West Ham United.
In Polokwane‚ Mane expects a tough match.
"It will be difficult because South Africa remains a team to be respected even when they haven’t been getting good results.
"We respect them‚ but we also know that we have the means to achieve a good result there."