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Liverpool's Naby Keita was in hospital for back injury, not heart - sources

Liverpool are refuting claims from Italy that Naby Keita visited a hospital to undergo examinations on his heart after he was forced off early in Wednesday's defeat at Napoli, sources close to the club have told ESPN FC.

Keita was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure, having been stretchered off 19 minutes into the Champions League affair at the Stadio San Paolo.

Media outlets in Italy had reported that the midfielder went to hospital for tests on his heart.

However, Liverpool released a statement shortly after the 1-0 loss and said Keita alerted "the team's medical staff to back pain."

A source told ESPN FC that Keita is "fine," adding that it is currently too early to determine whether he is ruled out for Sunday's game at Anfield with Premier League champions Manchester City.

Liverpool stayed in Naples on Wednesday night and hoped Keita would board the team flight the following morning. But the 23-year-old flew back to Merseyside on board a private jet later in the afternoon, a source said.

A doctor at the hospital that treated Keita on Wednesday night also said examinations on the player were related to his back.

"Keita's just been discharged," Ciro Mauro of the Cardarelli Hospital's cardiology unit told Radio Marte. "He's got a flight to Liverpool at 2:00 p.m.

"He didn't have a cardiologic problem, it was a strong back trauma. He had an MRI and CAT scan to rule out any problems to his spine.

"It is not related to a cardiovascular problem. The player was serene when he left and the Naples doctors have given him a good bill of health."

Keita has made nine appearances -- six of which have been starts -- for Liverpool this season after arriving from RB Leipzig in the summer.

ESPN FC's Italy correspondent Ben Gladwell contributed to this report.


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