Bayern Munich star Sadio Mané will be on the sidelines for Senegal’s first few matches of the 2022 World Cup. The forward suffered a leg injury during Bayern’s Bundesliga game with Werder Bremen a week ago. Although German coaches initially thought that the injury was not serious, Mané will now miss multiple World Cup games.

Senegal’s soccer federation board member Abdoulaye Sow confirmed the bad news about the player. “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 told the Associated Press. “No one would have wanted it, but that’s what’s happened to us.”

Mané is undoubtedly Senegal’s biggest goal threat. The 30-year-old forward has racked up 34 international goals in 92 appearances with the African nation. While Senegal has a very talented team overall, Mané is their most important player.

Senegal could go far in World Cup with Mané

Many pundits picked the Lions of Teranga to go far in the World Cup in Qatar. Although they are currently ranked just No. 18 by FIFA, Senegal have a solid squad from front to back. Along with Mané, Edouard Mendy, Kalidou Koulibaly, Idrissa Gueye, Ismaila Sarr and Nicolas Jackson highlight a deep roster.

Senegal start their World Cup in Qatar against the Netherlands on Monday, Nov. 21. The opening matchup will most likely be their toughest group stage game of the tournament. Following the Netherlands, Senegal then plays hosts Qatar and Ecuador to finish out Group A play.

Sadio Mané out of first World Cup games

While we now know that Mané will miss multiple matches, it still remains to be seen just how long he will stay on the sidelines. Bayern manager Julian Nagelsmann did, however, previously claim that Mané would be out of action until at least Nov. 21. Only then would further tests prove just how serious the injury is.

“It’s obvious that Senegal would like him to play,” Nagelsmann said. “But if he’s in pain, he can’t play. The medical things are more important than the sporting ones. That’s the case with us and also with everyone else.”

Senegal appear to be hopeful and patient regarding their injured star. The current African champions will most likely need Mané to make a deep run in Qatar.

PHOTO: IMAGO / Sebastian Frej

Guide to World Cup 2022

Here are some resources to help you get the most out of the biggest event in soccer!
TV Schedule: All the info on where and when to watch every game
The Groups: We breakdown each group and all the teams
The Kits: Check out what every team will be wearing on the field this fall
Predictor: Play out every scenario with our World Cup Predictor
World Cup Bracket: Map out the entire tournament, from the groups to the final