Report: Clyne out of commission until February following back surgery

Alex Livesey / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Nathaniel Clyne's bid to return to competitive action for the first time since May has been dealt another blow.

The Liverpool right-back is likely to be unavailable until February after undergoing surgery on a back injury, according to the Guardian's Mark Dobson. Clyne first suffered the issue in July, when he played the second half of a pre-season friendly at Tranmere Rovers.

Clyne's fitness problems are also inconveniently timed with next summer's World Cup drawing nearer. In his absence, Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier have established their places in Gareth Southgate's England squad, and Clyne's 20-year-old club teammate Joe Gomez - who's adept at centre-half and right-back - is now pushing for consideration.

However, arguably the most damaging news of the international break came courtesy of Sadio Mane. The Senegalese forward picked up a hamstring injury during October's World Cup qualifiers, and now, two months later, he's been sent back to Melwood with a similar complaint.

Related: Mane returns to Liverpool early due to injury

Liverpool returns to Premier League duty with a visit from misfiring Southampton on Saturday.