Egypt manager aims thinly-veiled dig at Liverpool over Mo Salah injury - 'I didn't think it was right'

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Mo Salah is returning to Liverpool after suffering an injury at AFCON.

Egypt manager Rui Vitoria has claimed he 'didn't think it was right' for information about the extent of Mo Salah's injury to come out ahead of the Pharaohs' crucial African Cup of Nations clash.

Salah suffered a muscle issue in Egypt's 2-2 draw against Ghana last week. Speaking after Liverpool's 4-0 Premier League victory over Bournemouth on Sunday, Anfield boss Jurgen Klopp revealed the winger would return to Merseyside for treatment. The Egyptian FA then confirmed that Salah would miss his country's next two matches, including their final Group B match against Cape Verde in the Ivory Coast last night.

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Hours before kick-off, Salah's agent Ramy Abbas Issa admitted that his client's setback was worse than first thought and he'd be on the treatment table for 21-28 days. Egypt earned a 2-2 draw against Cape Verde although that was enough for them to finish second in their pool and qualify for the knockout stage.

Vitoria spoke to the media after the match and gave an update on Salah's injury. He aimed a thinly-veiled dig at the Reds and claimed the 31-year-old - who watched the Cape Verde game - was in the 'control of our excellent medical team' while AFP reporter Andy Scott covering the press conference suggested that Vitoria expressed 'annoyance' at Klopp for his comments.

Vitoria said via Yahoo Sport: "I want to take this opportunity to clarify things. Mohamed Salah has an injury, which we learned before this game was a longer-term injury than we first thought, so we have had to prolong the amount of time before he can play again. Before the game, we did not want to say anything. Meanwhile, everything was in the control of our excellent medical team.

"Given we were going to have to travel, given the temperatures, given that we were going to be going to a different city, maybe it makes sense that Salah should have a place he can go to recover as quickly as possible.

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"We didn't want to alarm anyone. I didn't think it was right for Liverpool, via any intermediary, to speak about this, because we had a tremendously important game today.

"Salah has always been with us. Now this game is over we will find the best solution for the treatment of the player. These are the facts. This is the situation."

A Liverpool statement on Salah's injury said: "Mohamed Salah will return to the AXA Training Centre on Wednesday to begin an intensive rehabilitation programme with Liverpool’s medical team on the muscle injury he sustained with Egypt last week.

"The injury, which is worse than first feared, forced the forward from the field in the first half of the Africa Cup of Nations fixture with Ghana and an agreement has been reached with the Egyptian FA for Salah to undergo treatment in Liverpool.

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"Salah will immediately begin work with the club’s medical staff upon his return to Merseyside with a view to being back in action as soon as possible for club and country, giving him the best chance to return to compete at AFCON if Egypt, who qualified for the knockout stage with a 2-2 draw against Cape Verde tonight, continue to advance in the tournament."

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