January 24 – Mohamed Salah is likely to miss the remainder of the Africa Cup of Nations after the Egyptian forward’s agent said he faces “21-28 days” out of action with a hamstring injury.
Salah is returning to Liverpool to undergo intensive treatment on the injury he sustained against Ghana in an effort to boost his hopes of being fit for the semi-final stage of AFCON should Egypt progress that far.
But his club has confirmed the injury is “worse than first feared” following a scan and with the AFCON Final due to be staged on February 11, the recovery timescale would rule him out of the rest of the competition.
Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders told a news conference: “Because of the first message that came out that it would only be a few days, or a week, a detailed scan was then made and it showed a proper tear in his hamstring.”
“His expected return will be between three and four weeks if everything goes right.”
Egypt manager Rui Vitoria has hit out at Liverpool for jumping the gun and putting club before country. “I didn’t think it was right for Liverpool, via any intermediary, to speak about this,” he said. “Salah has always been with us.”
But speaking ahead of today’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Fulham Lijnders defended the decision.
“I never met a guy, a player but also a human being, who is more committed to the life of being a professional football player,” Lijnders said.
“I know the country is devastated to lose him. We were devastated to hear he got injured. The only reason our medical team and their medical team decided for him to come back is to give the best possible chance to be available if Egypt make the final.”
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