Reports that Mohamed Salah’s hamstring strain was mild enough the player might only miss out on Egypt’s final Africa Cup of Nations group stage game and, assuming qualification, the first knockout round always felt a touch optimistic.
That was especially the case when it was subsequently announced that Salah would be returning to Liverpool following that final group stage game for Egypt against Cape Verde to undergo his rehabilitation ahead of a potential return.
Today, agent Ramy Abbas issued an update, stating that the more realistic injury timeline is in fact 21 to 28 days, or three to four weeks. It’s a timeline that, from the date of his injury, would mean a return the first or second week of February.
With the AFCoN final set for February 11th, then, his best case scenario could see him return in time for that match should Egypt make it. It’s worth noting that a three to four week layoff was suggested as likely immediately following the injury.
It was only subsequent talk of the injury’s supposed mildness and a potential timeframe of two games from the Egypt camp that shifted expectations—and led to backlash for Salah in Egypt when it was announced he would return to Liverpool.
If he won’t be ready to play until around the date of the AFCoN final in a best case scenario, though, that return and working on his recovery with Liverpool’s doctors who take care of him ten months of the year makes even more sense.
“I’m not a doctor,” Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp said of the situation on Sunday. “I would say if Egypt qualify for the final and he is fit before the final then probably yes, why not. That’s clear, it’s the tournament [that is the priority].”