Egypt forward Mohamed Salah has promised the nation’s president that he will win his battle to be fit for the World Cup in Russia in time to be ready for the team’s first game against Uruguay on June 15.
Liverpool striker Salah suffered a shoulder injury when he tangled with Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final at the end of May. He left the pitch in tears and it was initially feared he would be ruled out of the World Cup in Russia this summer altogether with a dislocated shoulder.
However, it has since been reported that the Liverpool player suffered ligament damage and subsequently will only be out for around three weeks.
Egyptian Football Association (EFA) president Hany Abo Rida had said Salah would miss the opener against Uruguay, but would "100 percent" be fit to play Russia on June 19 in St. Petersburg.
But now the player himself is confident he will make the opening game against Uruguay in Ekaterinburg on Friday, vowing to President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi he would be fit in time.
"I promise you, I will do my best to be ready for the World Cup and to achieve the Egyptian dream," Salah told Sisi on Saturday at an event to mark the team’s departure to Russia, according to football media outlet Goal.
“I feel much better now and I'll be ready to play against Uruguay. I will never give up on our dream. I promise to do my best for our people," he added.
Salah’s optimism will be welcome news to the millions of Egypt fans preparing to support the team in their first World Cup in 28 years this summer.
The nation was distraught at the possibility of their most crucial player missing the tournament, with one lawyer even filing a $1 billion lawsuit against Madrid captain Ramos over the incident which caused Salah’s injury.
The prospect of a fully-fit Salah is less of a case fro celebration among Group A opponents Uruguay, Russia and Saudi Arabia.
The striker, 25, scored 44 goals for Liverpool last season, which helped him be named Premier League Player of the Season and also scored the penalty that confirmed his country’s place in Russia.
Salah and the Egyptian squad are expected to arrive in Russia on Sunday, and will be based in Grozny, the capital of the Chechen Republic.