Mohamed Salah looks to be on course to make his return for Egypt in time for the beginning of the World Cup.
The mercurial forward posed for pictures this week in the official team kit, looking both in good shape and in high spirits.
Salah teased the camera with a suggestive wink as speculation mounts regarding whether he will be fit enough in time for Egypt’s crunch opening game against Uruguay on Friday.
The stance of the Egyptian team remains that Salah will not be risked unless his is fully fit, with the team prepared to wait until the last moment to decide whether he should feature.
‘Maybe he could start on the bench, but a final decision has not been made yet,’ the Pharaohs’ team doctor, Mohamed Abouelela, said on Monday.
Salah jogged for about 30 minutes in a training session as his teammates worked on the same pitch in Grozny for the match in Ekaterinburg.
‘He is doing (physiotherapy) sessions on his shoulder and working out in the gym,’ squad executive director Eihab Leheita said. ‘We hope he will be with us for the Uruguay match.’
Leheita said a physiotherapist from the medical staff of Salah’s Liverpool club was at Grozny to help, and denied the English club was pressuring the Egyptians not to play Salah before he is fully fit.
‘We will not pressure Mohamed. At the end, he is our son,’ Leheita said.
The 25-year-old was injured playing in the Champions League final with Liverpool in Kiev at the end of May.
A coming together with Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos saw Salah’s shoulder awkwardly lock before taking the weight of the Egyptian as he fell.
Since, Salah has been working hard to alleviate the ligament damage sustained and get back to full fitness ahead of the tournament.
Egypt will take to their first World Cup finals since 1990, after Salah himself fired them to Russia with a last-minute penalty against Congo in a play-off fixture.
Should he feature against Uruguay, current darling of Anfield Salah will go up against a former Kop hero in the form of Luis Suarez.