Liverpool fans have been left sweating on the fitness of Mohamed Salah in recent weeks.
Supporters had their heads in their hands witnessing Salah trudge off the pitch in Egypt’s 2-2 draw with Ghana at the Africa Cup of Nations, the winger substituted late in the first half after suffering a hamstring injury.
Liverpool’s No.11 returned to Merseyside to continue his rehabilitation, expected to return for Egypt should the Pharaohs make it all the way to final of this year’s AFCON.
However, after suffering a heart-breaking penalty shootout out defeat to DR Congo on Sunday night, Salah’s next match will be in a Liverpool shirt.
The Reds have coped well in his absence but Jurgen Klopp will be desperate to get him back as soon as possible as they continue to fight in the Premier League, Europa League and domestic cup competitions.
Initial reports coming out of the Egypt camp suggested that Salah would miss just two games for the record AFCON winners. However, the attacker’s agent, Ramy Abbas Issa, has confirmed that his client will be sidelined for a longer period.
Speaking on social media about the timeframe for Salah’s return, he stated: “Mohammed’s injury is more serious than first thought and he will be out for 21-28 days, and not two games.
“His best chance at participating in the current AFCON is by undergoing intensive rehabilitation in the UK and re-joining the team as soon as he is fit.”
Klopp confirmed that Salah would return to AFCON should Egypt make it to the final of the competition, but that’s no longer a concern for the Liverpool manager.
If Salah was out for a month – his agent’s upper estimate – then he would miss another four games in a Liverpool shirt.
Those games would all come in the Premier League and include clashes with Chelsea (H), Arsenal (A), Burnley (H) and Brentford (A).
However, such an injury timeframe would likely enable Salah to return to play some part in Liverpool’s Carabao Cup final clash with Chelsea on 25 February, a game the Egyptian won’t want to miss under any circumstances.
The 31-year-old has scored 27 goals in as many games this season in all competitions and remains an integral part of Klopp’s forward line.