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Page last updated at 15:41 GMT, Thursday, 31 December 2009

Mali include Keita in squad

Barcelona and Mali's Seydou Keita
Seydou Keita has been included in Mali's squad for the Nations Cup

Barcelona midfielder Seydou Keita is included in Mali's 23-man squad for the Africa Cup of Nations as he continues to recover from injury.

Keita has missed Mali's training camp in Qatar where they are taking part in a four-team tournament.

Mali's Nigerian coach Stephen Keshi told BBC Sport that Keita is recovering well.

"The injury is a lot better, he's going to start running and touching the ball today," Keshi said.

"He will be joining us on Monday when we get back to Bamako and we are looking forward to getting him back in the team."

Keita picked up the thigh injury playing for the Spanish and European champions Barcelona at the Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi earlier this month.

Reports from Spain had suggested that Barcelona did not want Keita to play at the Nations Cup.

The only two locally-based players in the final squad are Soumaïla Diakite and Abdoulaye Maigare who both play for Confederation Cup winners Stade Malien.

Mali play hosts Qatar on Saturday in the final game of the four-team tournament - they lost to North Korea 1-0 and then beat Iran 2-1 in the first two matches at the event.

The Eagles play hosts Angola in the opening game of the Nations Cup on 10 January before matches with Algeria and Malawi in Group A.

Mali squad:

Mahamadou Sidiba (Omonia, Cyprus), Adama Tamboura (Helsingborg, Sweden), Samba Sow (Lens, France), Bakary Soumare (Boulogne-sur-Mer, France), Souleymane Diamoutene (Bari, Italy), Ousmane Berthe (Jomo Cosmos, South Africa), El Hadj Mahamane Traore (OGC Nice, France), Mahamadou, Diarra (Real Madrid, Spain), Seydou Keita (Barcelona, Spain), Frederic Kanoute (Sevilla, Spain), Momo Sissoko (Juventus, Italy), Mamadou Bagayoko (OGC Nice, France), Mamadou Samassa (Valenciennes, France), Abdou Traore (Bordeaux, France), Mamadou Diallo (Le Havre, France), Tenema N'Diaye (Nantes, France), Lassana Fane (El Merreikh, Sudan), Modibo Maigia (Le Mans, France), Bakaye Traore (Nancy, France), Moustapha Yattabare (Clermont, France), Soumaïla Diakite (Stade Malien), Abdoulaye Maiga (Stade Malien), Oumar Sissoko (Metz, France)

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see also
Angola lose as Mali win
31 Dec 09 |  African
Mali lose out to North Korea
28 Dec 09 |  African
Mali monitoring Keita injury
21 Dec 09 |  African
Mali's Sidi Keita out of Angola
19 Dec 09 |  African

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