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Mohamed Salah

'We are optimists' - Hector Cuper confident Mohamed Salah will recover on time for Egypt's opener with Uruguay

16:42 GMT+4 07/06/2018
Mohamed Salah Egypt Afcon 2017
The Pharaohs are sweating over the fitness of Salah, but Cuper is confident he will have his star attacker for the Uruguay game next week

Egypt national team coach Hector Cuper has said his team is already preparing for the worst should Mohamed Salah fail to recover on time for their 2018 Fifa World Cup campaign.  

The Liverpool attacker suffered a shoulder ligament injury in last month's Uefa Champions League final against Real Madrid, and while he's expected to be fit for the opener against Uruguay, Cuper is refusing to get carried away.  

The tactician admitted that Salah is an important player for the Pharaohs, but said the team cannot afford to depend on one player for the tournament which gets underway next week Friday. 

"We hope we won't be affected. We try to be the same team, we can't be dependent on one player," said Cuper.

"He's important but if he's not fit in time we will be ready with another player. This is football, these things can happen to any player. We could need to substitute him, but we hope that won't be the case,"  he explained. 

The 62-year-old mentor further revealed that Salah is in a stage of recovery and not just for treatment on his shoulder. 

However, Cuper feels Salah's level of fitness isn't up to scratch as yet simply because he hasn't been training properly like the rest of the Egyptian players. 

"Salah is in a stage of recovery not just for treatment on his shoulder. We need to improve his demeanour and his fitness level because the injury has prevented him from training as a normal player, but we have very good news from our doctor. We hope he will be with us before Uruguay. We are optimists and we are waiting for him," concluded Cuper. 

Salah, 25, is an integral member of the Egyptian squad for the World Cup finals in Russia following an impressive season he had with Liverpool. 

He hasn't featured in any of his national team's warm-up matches this month, meaning he will have to work harder to be on the same level with his teammates when he fully recovers from injury.