Liverpool have been dealt a blow with the news that star forward Mohamed Salah has tested positive for Covid-19 while representing Egypt on international duty, ahead of an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Togo.
The Premier League champions have had to contend with a number of coronavirus infections since the start of the season, with Sadio Mane, Thiago Alcantara, and Xherdan Shaqiri, and Kostas Tsimikas all having contracted the illness.
Despite the spate of infections, they sit one point behind early-season table-toppers Leicester City, whom they play at Anfield next Saturday when the international break ends.
It appears that Salah’s participation for the match is in serious doubt, with his national team confirming that he had picked up Covid on international duty.
The Egyptian FA has stated that he has been put into self-isolation and is not suffering with any symptoms, and it was the only infection picked up when the squad assembled.
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“The medical swab conducted on the mission of our first national football team showed that our international player, Mohamed Salah, the Liverpool star, was infected with the Coronavirus, after his test came back positive,” the federation said in a statement on its Facebook page.
“The player does not suffer from any symptoms. The other members of the team tested negative. Salah underwent the medical protocol after the team’s doctor coordinated with his English club. In addition to his isolation inside his room and also isolating all his contacts.”
According to Egypt Today, Salah attended the wedding of his brother, Nasr, prior to the positive test and there are videos circulating of the former Roma man dancing at the event, without a mask on.
On Wednesday evening, the Egyptian FA held a ceremony to honor Salah’s achievements with Liverpool, with many of the governing body’s top people and national team legends present.
This has been a costly international break for Liverpool, having already lost Joe Gomez to injury during England training, with the defender joining Virgil van Dijk as a long-term absentee.