Egypt’s hopes in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) have been hit as Mohamed Salah is set to sit out two crucial matches following a back injury suffered during their 2-2 draw with Ghana. The Egyptian Football Association (FA) confirmed that Salah, who failed to complete the first half in the Group B clash, has a back muscle strain, ruling him out of the upcoming matches against Cape Verde and the Round of 16, should Egypt qualify.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and fans were concerned about the impact on Salah’s availability for the club’s title run-in. However, the Egyptian FA assured that the injury is not severe, and Salah is expected to be available for the quarter-finals if Egypt progresses.
In a statement, the FA stated, “The x-rays showed that he suffered a strain in the posterior muscle, and he will miss the team’s next two matches at the AFCON — against Cape Verde and the Round of 16 match in the event of qualification.” Cape Verde has already secured a spot in the next stage after defeating Mozambique 3-0.
The 31-year-old Liverpool star’s absence will be felt in Egypt’s crucial group stage finale against Cape Verde, where a win is vital for their advancement. Egypt could potentially qualify as one of the best third-placed teams, setting the stage for a last-16 tie on January 28 in San-Pedro.
While Salah’s immediate focus is on recovery, Senegal has already secured a spot in the last 16 with a 3-1 win over Cameroon, showcasing the competitive nature of the tournament. Salah’s potential return hinges on Egypt’s progression to the quarter-finals scheduled for February 2 or 3, providing a timeline for Liverpool and Egypt to anticipate his comeback.