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AFCON 2021 qualifiers: Mohamed Salah withdraws from Egypt squad

By Vincent Ashitey
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Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah has withdrawn from the Egypt squad for this week’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers after aggravating an ankle injury.

The 27-year-old was left clutching his left ankle following a challenge by Fernandinho during the first half Sunday’s Premier League clash with Manchester City at Anfield.

He was able to continue after receiving treatment and went on to score Liverpool’s crucial second goal, before eventually being substituted after 87 minutes.

Salah then immediately linked up with his national side for games against Kenya and Comoros Islands as planned. But after being assessed by the Egypt physios it was decided that he withdraw in order to give more time for the injury to heal.

The medical team say it is the same ankle injury sustained following a late challenge by Leicester’s Hamza Choudhury at the start of last month.

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Salah arrived to Egypt training on Monday and was eager to participate but his injury, according to Egypt’s Doctor Mohamed Abu-El Ela, needed time to rehabilitate.

The injury is the same one that bothered him with Liverpool following the club's match against Leicester City in the Premier League.

The former Roma forward has struggled with an ankle problem since that clash with Foxes midfielder Choudhury during a Premier League clash at Anfield on October 5.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp was left furious at Choudhury’s tackle, though scans later revealed that Salah had avoided serious injury and he was able to return after missing just one game.

However, there have been concerns that the forward has still been carrying the injury and so has been unable to perform at full speed.

Salah will now return to Liverpool for further assessment with the club no doubt hoping that a period of rest during the international break will aid his recovery.

The Reds hold an eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League after their 3-1 victory against champions City at Anfield on Sunday.

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They return to action against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday, November 23.