Confusion reigns over Mohamed Salah's fitness after Liverpool physio rules him out of World Cup

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Mohamed Salah leaves the field injured in Kyiv

Mohamed Salah faces a fight to play in any of Egypt’s World Cup group games, according to one of Liverpool’s physiotherapists.

Club physio Ruben Pons has estimated Salah would normally need “three to four weeks” to recover from the left shoulder injury he sustained during Saturday’s Champions League final against Real Madrid.

A three-week absence would keep Salah out of action until June 19 while four weeks would see the forward sidelined until June 26, the day after Egypt’s last group game.

Salah may also then need to regain a degree of match fitness.

Egypt’s opening fixture in Group A is against Uruguay on June 15. They then face Russia on June 19 and Saudi Arabia on June 25.

“He is sad about what happened but he is totally focused on recovery and seeing when he can be ready,” Pons told Spanish daily, Marca.

“In principle it will be three to four weeks but we are going to try to reduce those deadlines, that’s the big goal.”

Salah has flown to Spain to undergo treatment, accompanied by doctors from both Liverpool and the Egyptian national team.

The 25-year-old had to be substituted during the first half of Liverpool’s defeat in Kiev after being pulled to the ground by Sergio Ramos.

He left the field in tears but appeared more optimistic on Sunday, when he wrote on Twitter: “It was a very tough night, but I’m a fighter.

“Despite the odds, I’m confident that I’ll be in Russia to make you all proud. Your love and support will give me the strength I need.”

Pons remarks go counter to Egypt’s national team’s doctor who said he was optimistic that Salah could play in the World Cup.

“Through follow ups on the phone with the national team’s delegation in Italy… the officials at Liverpool said an X-ray on Salah’s shoulder” showed the injury to be in the ligaments, the Egyptian FA said on Twitter on Saturday.

The national team’s doctor, Mohamed Abou al-Ela, “expressed his optimism that Salah would make it for the World Cup matches according to this diagnosis”, the Association said.

The Egyptian Minister Youth and Sports Khaled AbdElaziz also expressed optimism. “Mohamed Salah, God willing, will be on the national team’s final list for the World Cup, which is to be announced on June 4,” Abd Elaziz said on Facebook.

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Football Association expresses support for Raheem Sterling amid scrutiny of the England forward's gun tattoo

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The Football Association has expressed its support for Raheem Sterling amid scrutiny of the England forward’s gun tattoo.

Tuesday’s edition of The Sun made ripples as the front page focused on the 23-year-old’s latest piece of body art.

Sterling is currently preparing for the World Cup with the England squad at St George’s Park, where he made a swift response via an Instagram Stories post on Monday night.

The Manchester City forward wrote: “When I was 2 my father died from being gunned down to death I made a promise to myself I would never touch a gun in my life time, I shoot with my right foot so it has a deeper meaning N still unfinished.”

The FA underlined its support for Sterling on Tuesday afternoon, with a spokesperson saying: “We all support Raheem Sterling and acknowledge the honest and heartfelt account he gave via Instagram last night.

“He and the rest of the squad are focused solely on preparing for the forthcoming World Cup.”

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Real Madrid right-back Dani Carvajal deemed fit for Spain's World Cup despite Champions League final injury

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Carvajal went off in tears during Saturday's Champions League final.

Real Madrid right-back Dani Carvajal is set to link up with Spain’s squad for the World Cup as planned despite picking up a hamstring tear during the team’s triumphant Champions League final on Saturday.

Carvajal had injured the same hamstring during Madrid’s semi-final tie against Bayern Munich. It has been a troublesome area for the Spaniard, having been forced out of the 2016 Champions League final with a similar complaint.

It was feared that the 26-year-old would miss this summer’s tournament in Russia, but having been examined by doctors in Madrid, Carvajal has been declared fit.

Madrid’s players have already been given an extra week off compared to the rest of the Spanish squad due to their exertions in Saturday’s final, and Carvajal’s fitness will be monitored during that break.

Real Betis right-back Marc Bartra is the likely replacement should Carvajal’s injury force him out of the squad.

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