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Will he or won't he? Egypt holds its breath over injured Salah

AFP  |  Yekaterinburg 

is in a high-profile race to be fit for Egypt's Cup opener against tomorrow and even opponents are hoping the ace could yet play a role in

The striker and Egyptian superstar, who is nursing an injured shoulder, is crucial to the north African side's hopes of making it out of a weak-looking Group A also featuring the hosts and

play -- tipped by some to be dark horses -- in in just the second game of the tournament, following against in the opening match.

Salah, who turns 26 on the day of the game, gave 100 million frantic Egyptians a massive boost on Wednesday when he joined a squad training session at their base.

He had been sidelined since suffering a in Liverpool's final loss to Real Madrid on May 26, casting severe doubt on his Cup participation.

He went through a range of warm-up exercises with his team-mates, but Egyptian team officials are giving little away.

"There's a good degree of progress but no definitive decision on whether he takes part, as we are following his case day by day," told reporters.

Egypt's 62-year-old Argentine will conduct a pre-match press conference on Thursday, but there are suggestions that he wants to see train again before making any decision on whether the is fit to face a side boasting the twin attacking threat of and

The most likely outcome is that Salah, one of the outstanding players in the this season as he helped propel to the final, will be on the bench on Friday.

Salah's dream was left on the brink when he exited the final in tears after wrestled him to the ground.

Cuper has attempted to dismiss the notion that are a one-man side, but with 44 goals in all competitions this season for Liverpool, Salah's badly timed has become a national obsession back home.

is regarded as a contender for the Ballon d'Or for his spectacular debut season at Anfield, alongside Argentina's Lionel Messi, Portugal's and Neymar of

The tournament in will be the poorer for Salah missing out and Uruguay has expressed hope that Salah will play against the South Americans.

"I like the best players to play, I train with the best and I want the best players to play," said Muslera.

Egypt, a no-frills side who play on the counterattack under the wily Cuper, face hosts Russia on Tuesday and the Saudis on June 25 in their last group game.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, June 14 2018. 09:50 IST
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