Egypt's Salah to miss two AFCON games due to hamstring strain
Mohamed Salah will miss two Africa Cup of Nations games for Egypt after suffering a hamstring muscle strain during Thursday's 2-2 draw with Ghana, the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) said on Friday.
"The X-rays that Salah underwent confirmed his hamstring injury and he will miss the team's next two matches in the Africa Cup of Nations against Cape Verde and the round of 16 if (Egypt) qualify," the EFA said in a brief statement.
Salah pulled up with a hamstring strain before halftime in Thursday’s Group B game against Ghana in Abidjan.
Earlier on Friday, Egypt doctor Mohamed Abu El-Ela said Salah had initially wanted to continue playing in the key game but when the pain became more acute he asked to be taken off.
Salah's manager at Liverpool, Juergen Klopp, suggested earlier in the day that the injury might be serious, given that the forward was rarely injured or left the field for his club.
"I spoke with him last night and how it was. They are doing further assessments now and then we will know more," Klopp told reporters.
"At that moment he was shocked and couldn't see why he was hit by something so intense. You have these hamstring injuries in a different way. He felt it and we know how rarely Mo goes off, or needs to go off, so it is definitely something but I don't have any more information right now."
The 31-year-old Salah has missed just 10 league games in six-plus seasons for Liverpool.
Klopp said he was uncertain whether Liverpool's medical staff would travel to the Ivory Coast to assess the extent of Salah's injury.
"We will see. It depends on the diagnostics," he said. "We will have ultrasound and MRI and then we will know what it is and we will see and make plans but it's too early (at the moment)," he said.
Losing Salah, who is on the cusp of 100 caps for his country, would be a major blow to seven-time cup winners Egypt, who have made a sluggish start to their campaign in the Ivory Coast.
Salah netted a last-gasp penalty on Sunday, after a VAR decision, for Egypt to draw 2-2 with Mozambique in their opening game and escape an embarrassing defeat.
On Thursday, they twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with Ghana and effectively need a win in their last group game on Monday against the Cape Verde Islands if they are to advance to the last 16.