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Sadio Mane to miss 'first games' of World Cup with injury, Senegal soccer federation board member claims

WHAT HAPPENED? Mane's leg injury will cause him to miss Senegal's "first games" at the World Cup, according to Senegal federation board member Abdoulaye Sow.

WHAT THEY SAID: “We will have to rely on playing the first games without Sadio and win without Sadio because we have 25 players apart from Sadio,” Sow said. “No one would have wanted it, but that’s what’s happened to us.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Mane is Senegal's undisputed biggest star, and his absence for any amount of time will be a tremendous blow to the team. The ex-Liverpool attacker led his country to an Africa Cup of Nations triumph at the start of 2022 and had been eager to carry the Lions of Teranga to the World Cup knockout stages.

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Sadio Mane injured Bayern Munich 2022-23Getty ImagesSadio Mane Senegal friendly 2022Getty Images

WHAT NEXT FOR MANE? As part of Senegal's 26-man squad, Mane is still expected to feature at some point in the tournament, though it appears it will be a tight race to be fit before the end of the group stage. Senegal will face the Netherlands, Qatar and Ecuador in Group A.