Mohamed Salah is “almost 100 percent” certain to play in Egypt’s opening World Cup match against Uruguay on Friday, coach Hector Cuper has confirmed.
The Liverpool star, who has been battling to recover from a shoulder injury sustained in a tussle with Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos during last month’s Champions League final, trained with the rest of the Egypt squad for the first time on Wednesday.
And speaking in a news conference to preview the Uruguay game, Cuper revealed that he expects to have Salah available for the start of Egypt’s campaign in Russia.
“Salah is doing very well indeed, he’s recovered very quickly,” Cuper said. “We’ll see how it goes today. I can almost assure you 100% he will play, barring any unforeseen factors at the last moment.”
Cuper also played down the possibility that Salah’s performance on Friday could suffer due to lingering psychological effects of the injury, which many feared might wreck his chances of appearing at all in his country’s first World Cup finals for 28 years.
“We’re trying to make him feel confident,” Cuper added. “The doctors are giving him the options to play or not. I know Salah very well, he’s not fearful. We always know we’re running a risk when playing a match, that’s something we can’t hide.
“But if he does decide to play he’ll have full guarantees on his physical condition and I’m sure he will be fine. And if it does turn out there’s an issue at the last minute we’ll consider it and see if it can be resolved.”