Egypt coach Rui Vitoria said it was “too early to say” if Mohamed Salah will return for this year’s Africa Cup of Nations after suffering an injury in Thursday’s 2-2 draw with Ghana.
The Liverpool striker was sent off late in the first half of the Group B match in Abidjan after appearing to grip the back of his left leg.
“We do not yet know what the issue is. I hope it’s not a major issue…”It’s too early to say anything,” Vitoria remarked after his team’s second consecutive 2-2 tie in the competition.
“Salah is an amazing player, one of the best players in the world, so we want to have this kind of player always with us.”
Salah’s penalty in stoppage time saved Egypt from a stunning defeat to Mozambique in their first game, and the Pharaohs were up against it again against a much-improved Ghana.
After Salah’s injury, Mohammed Kudus smashed in a long-range goal in first-half stoppage time to give the Black Stars the lead after Cape Verde had upset them 2-1 earlier in the tournament.
Omar Marmoush equalised before Kudus scored again, but Mostafa Mohamed ensured Egypt earned a point by scoring for the second game in a row.
“The players were upset after conceding at the end of the first half…but it’s football, we changed the mindset in the second half, we went for the game with positive energy,” Vitoria remarked.
“Not because of Salah, but because the outcome wasn’t favourable. The team’s attitude and commitment were positive, but Salah is a tremendous player, and we must remember that.”
Vitoria emphasised that, despite of the severity of Salah’s injury, his squad is still capable of earning a record-extending seventh AFCON trophy.
“Nobody wins the title without coming through difficult games…today we showed, mainly in the second half, the courage and quality of this team.”