Mohamed Salah will return to Liverpool for treatment on a muscle injury picked up while on international duty, the Egyptian Football Association has announced.
The influential forward was forced off during the first half of Egypt’s 2-2 draw with Ghana in Thursday’s Africa Cup of Nations group match, causing concern for club and country.
It was later revealed the 31-year-old would miss the Pharaohs’ next two fixtures, if they progressed to the knockout stages of the competition in the Ivory Coast.
However, he will now attend Egypt’s final Group B against Cape Verde on Monday, where victory will secure their place in the last 16, before flying back to Liverpool for rehabilitation.
An Egyptian FA statement, posted on Liverpool’s official website on Sunday evening, read: “After additional examinations were conducted on Mohamed Salah during the last hours, and after communication between the national team’s medical staff and his counterpart at Liverpool FC, it was decided that the player will return to England after the Cape Verde match tomorrow to complete his treatment, with the hope that he will join the national team in the semi-final of the AFCON if we qualify.”
Premier League leaders Liverpool initially struggled to create in the absence of their talisman during Sunday’s game at Bournemouth, but moved five points clear at the top thanks to a crushing 4-0 win earned by second-half doubles from Darwin Nunez and Diogo Jota.
Speaking after the victory at the Vitality Stadium, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp said it “makes sense” for Salah to fly back to Merseyside from the tournament.
“However long he’s out, probably everybody sees it like this, it makes sense that he’s doing the rehab with us or with our people. If that’s written in stone already, I don’t know.
“I spoke with him directly after, the night when it happened. Since then he’s in contact with our doctor. I think he will be back.”
Liverpool overcame a slow start on a soggy south coast afternoon to run out resounding victors against the Cherries in their first league match of the season without 14-goal forward Salah.
Nunez broke the deadlock four minutes into the second period and then completed the scoring in added time following Jota’s quick-fire brace as the Reds fully capitalised on a weekend off for second-placed Manchester City.
“We had the opposite of a good start,” said Klopp. “We put ourselves under pressure.
“It’s about winning the game in the end and, as long as you stay in the game, pretty much anything that happens in the game is allowed.
“Today, step by step, we found a way in the game and won it.”
Cherries boss Andoni Iraola felt his side lost tactical discipline after falling behind.
“We started doing things that we haven’t done before, going too fast, not so disciplined tactically and obviously we played worse in the second half,” said the Spaniard.
“They were really clinical today. The first goal is difficult to defend, the other goals we could do more, we could defend better, react more quickly to the second balls.”