Mohamed Salah, the renowned Liverpool and Egypt football star, is set to miss the next two matches in the Africa Cup of Nations 2023 due to a hamstring injury, according to an announcement from the Egyptian Football Association on Friday.
The official statement from the Egyptian FA revealed the results of tests conducted on Salah, who serves as the captain of the Egypt national team, confirming the presence of a hamstring injury. This unfortunate development forces Salah to sit out of the upcoming AFCON games.
Salah, 31, was forced to leave the field late in the first half during Egypt’s recent 2-2 draw against Ghana on Thursday. Consequently, he will be absent from the crucial final group game against Cape Verde scheduled for Monday, as well as any subsequent last-16 tie.
The pressure is on for Egypt, the seven-time African champions, as they need a victory against Cape Verde to secure advancement in the tournament, ideally in the second position in Group B. This would lead to a last-16 match in San-Pedro on January 28, with the possibility of qualifying as one of the best third-placed teams.
Salah’s return to the competition hinges on Egypt progressing to the quarter-final stage, which is scheduled for February 2 or 3. The team’s reliance on Salah was evident in their opening game, where his injury-time penalty secured a 2-2 draw against Mozambique. In the subsequent match against Ghana, Egypt fought back twice, with Omar Marmoush and Mostafa Mohamed scoring the goals, leaving them with two points from two matches.
Egypt, who last claimed the Cup of Nations title in 2010, faces the challenge of navigating the tournament without Salah’s on-field contributions until the later stages, highlighting the team’s determination to succeed in his absence.