The 31-year-old was forced off on the stroke of half-time in Thursday evening’s group stage clash against Ghana, clutching the back of his left leg before limping off the pitch.
He appeared to be fighting back the tears as he handed over the captain’s armband and left the pitch, with many fearing the injury might have ended his tournament – and perhaps result in a lengthy spell on the sidelines that impacts Liverpool too.
But now the Egyptian FA have released a statement revealing that Salah’s injury is only a strain and he should be fit for the quarter-finals at the start of February should the team progress that far.
‘Mohamed Salah has suffered a strain and will miss two matches in the Africa Cup of Nations,’ read the statement.
‘The X-rays showed that he suffered a strain in the posterior muscle [hamstring] and he will miss the team’s next two matches against Cape Verde and then the round of 16 match in the event of qualification.’
Egypt have drawn their first two matches of the competition, against Mozambique and Ghana, and now likely need to beat Cape Verde – who are already qualified – on Monday to progress to the knockout stages, though must do so without their skipper and best player.
The round-of-16 matches are scheduled to take place between 27-30 January, with the quarter-finals following on 2/3 February.
That is good news for Liverpool and means, in theory, Salah should be fit to take on Arsenal in the Premier League on February 4 if Egypt do not make the last eight of the Africa Cup of Nations – otherwise he will remain in Ivory Coast for the tournament.
Liverpool also have another high-profile fixture against Chelsea on 31 January and it will be touch and go as to whether Salah can take part in that match, once again in the event of Egypt’s elimination.
Asked about Salah’s injury at a press conference on Friday, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said: ‘We don’t know anything, I spoke with him last night with him on how it is.
‘Further assessment is what they are doing now. It was a moment of shock. You could see he was hit with something high intensity.
‘You have these kind of injuries and we know how rarely he needs to go off. So it’s definitely something. So we will see. But I don’t know any information more.’
For more stories like this, check our sport page.
Follow Metro Sport for the latest news on
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.