Mohamed Salah to leave Egypt squad and continue injury rehab with Liverpool

National team remain hopeful star forward will be available for later stages of tournament

Egypt's Mohamed Salah picked up an injury during the African Cup of Nations match against Ghana. AP
Powered by automated translation

Mohamed Salah will leave Egypt's squad at the Africa Cup of Nations and continue treatment for his hamstring injury at his club Liverpool.

Salah was forced off during the first half of Egypt’s 2-2 draw with Ghana, causing concern for club and country.

Egypt's national association made the announcement, while also stating that they hoped the 31-year-old will return to the tournament in Ivory Coast for later stages.

"Salah will attend [Monday's] game against Cape Verde and then will travel to the UK," the Egyptian Football Association said.

"After communication between the Egyptian medical staff and their Liverpool counterparts, we have agreed that the player will return to the UK to continue his treatment, hoping to return to the Egypt team for the semi-finals."

Salah had earlier been ruled out of his country's crucial Group B match against Cape Verde in Abidjan on Monday and their last-16 match, should they progress.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had earlier discussed plans for the 31-year-old to undergo treatment in the UK.

"That's the plan," Klopp said after Liverpool's 4-0 victory against Bournemouth. "I think probably everybody sees it makes sense that he's doing the rehab with us or with our people."

On Sunday, Salah spoke about his injury, without offering much detail.

"My injury is still there but the most important thing now is to speak about the game,” he said ahead of the Cape Verde game.

“Our primary goal is to secure qualification for the next round, with skilled players, a good coach and a clear vision.

"We're fully committed to giving our best in the tournament and we just need to fight and see what will happen."

Salah also spoke about the fact he has yet to win a trophy with Egypt, having twice been a runner-up at Afcon.

"I have won everything possible but not this one yet. It will happen somehow, that is what I believe, and whatever I believe I achieve, so sooner or later it will happen.

“Everybody knows what it means to any player to win an Africa Cup. We were unlucky at the last one and also in Gabon. The players are very motivated to win the tournament. We all want to win it."

After drawing their opening two games at Afcon 2023, the seven-time African champions need to beat already-qualified Cape Verde to be guaranteed of qualifying for the last 16.

Salah salvaged a 2-2 draw with Mozambique from the penalty spot in Egypt's opening game before limping off in the first half of the stalemate against Ghana.

Updated: January 22, 2024, 10:09 AM