Egypt and Liverpool star forward Mohamed Salah will start on the substitutes bench for Egypt in their World Cup 2018 opener against Uruguay in Ekaterinburg on Friday.
It was feared that Salah could miss the entire tournament after he suffered a shoulder injury during last month’s Champions League final in Kiev following a foul from Spanish defender Sergio Ramos.
Pharaohs head coach Hector Cuper has named the Premier League Player of the Year on the bench for the Maghreb nation’s Group A opener versus Uruguay, who boast their own star front man in striker Luis Suarez.
Egyptian Football Association (EFA) president Hany Abo Rida effectively ruled Salah out of Egypt’s opener, but promised he would be fit for the match versus hosts Russia in St. Petersburg on Tuesday.
"We’re trying to make him feel confident. The doctors are giving him the option to play or not. I know him very well, and I’m sure he’s not afraid," Cuper said on Thursday.
"A risk of playing a match is something we can’t hide. In terms of him on the pitch, he’ll have full guarantees. If we do see at the last minute there’s an issue, we’ll see if it can be resolved."
If Salah is to play any part in the opening game against the South American nation at Ekaterinburg Arena, which falls on the same day as his 26th birthday, he will do so as a replacement.