Mohamed Salah’s muscle injury is “more serious than first thought” and could keep the Liverpool forward out of action for nearly a month, according to his agent.
On Sunday, Liverpool announced the 31-year-old would be returning from the Ivory Coast, where he was representing Egypt in the Africa Cup of Nations, to undergo treatment with the aim of returning to the Pharaohs if they progressed to the knockout stages of the competition.
That optimistic plan, at least according to Ramy Abbas Issa, now looks to have suffered a significant setback.
Posting to his personal account on X (formerly Twitter), the agent wrote: “Mohamed’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 rejoining the team as soon as he is fit.”
The PA news agency has contacted Liverpool for comment.
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.
“That’s the plan,” the German said before the news was confirmed. “If that’s already decided 100 per cent, I don’t know. But that’s the plan.
“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.”