Egyptian star Mohamed Salah picked up an injury at the African Cup of Nations that is worse than experts originally estimated. Salah required a substitution in Egypt’s 2-2 draw against Ghana because of a muscle injury that popped up in first-half stoppage time. Initial concerns were just a small muscle injury. Now, Salah’s agent says the injury will keep Salah off the field for one month.

Ramy Abbas Issa, the agent for Salah, says Salah may miss the rest of AFCON. Consequently, he will miss time with Liverpool with the Reds sitting atop the Premier League table.

“Mohammed’s injury is more serious than first thought and he will be out for 21-28 days, and not 2 games,” the agent said.

However, this does not mean Salah is out of AFCON entirely. Should Egypt go on a deep run in the tournament, there is a chance he could return. For now, Salah made his way back to England to undergo extensive rehabilitation at the Liverpool training facility.

“His best chance at participating in the current AFCON is by undergoing intensive rehabilitation in the UK and rejoining the team as soon as he is fit,” Issa said. If the agent’s estimation of 21 to 28 days is accurate, that would mean Salah would only be able to return for the final or the semifinal at the earliest. Currently, Egypt is on the cusp of qualifying for the knockout stage, but it is no guarantee after three draws in three games.

Mohamed Salah injury also affects Liverpool

While the Egyptian’s focus right now is on AFCON 2023, the injury certainly has an effect on the stature of the Reds and their title ambitions. Mohamed Salah, once again, has been integral to Liverpool’s success this season. In 20 games, Salah has 14 goals and eight assists. He is tied at the top of the scoring chart and assist chart with Erling Haaland and Ollie Watkins, respectively.

Any knock will be a concern for Liverpool fans. With a five-point buffer at the top of the table, Mohamed Salah will be paramount if Liverpool wants to win a second Premier League title. It would also tie Liverpool with Manchester United for the most English top-flight titles in history. The Red Devils have 20 wins, and Liverpool is at 19.

Jürgen Klopp addressed how important Salah is to Liverpool’s season after the Reds defeated Bournemouth at the weekend. He added that Liverpool’s doctors will be working with Salah to return him to fitness.

“I spoke with him directly after the night when it happened,” Klopp said. “Since then, he’s in contact with our doctor. I think he will be back.”

Salah’s impending return

Regardless of whether it is for Liverpool or Egypt, Salah will return in mid-February. For Egypt, the prospect of winning AFCON is clear. For Liverpool, that presents an integral part of the schedule. In February, Liverpool has a string of winnable games while many of its title-challenging rivals have challenging fixtures. That presents an opportunity for Liverpool to expand its lead.