Ahmed El Shenawy to miss World Cup after knee injury
Egypt goalkeeper Ahmed El Shenawy will miss the World Cup after injuring his knee in action for SC Zamalek last week, according to national team doctor Mohamed Abu El Ela.
The stopper injured his anterior cruciate ligament during Zamalek's 2-1 Egyptian Premier League defeat by Al Ittihad Alexandria on Thursday.
His absence consolidates 45-year-old Essam El Hadary's chances of starting between the sticks in Russia.
The veteran has amassed over 150 caps for the Pharaohs, and would break Roger Milla's record as the oldest player to play at the World Cup if he features this summer.
"El Shenawy had a medical examination which showed he will not be able to play in the next World Cup as he has an anterior cruciate ligament injury," Abu El Ela told the BBC.
The 26-year-old, who featured once for Egypt during their qualification campaign, also tweeted confirmation of his injury.
"I want to thank Allah for everything, this is my fate and I accept it," he tweeted on his @Elshenawy handle.
"This injury is a test from Allah, the anterior cruciate ligament injury was confirmed and I will travel to Germany soon for treatment. I need a prayer from all of you."
El Shenawy has made 28 appearances for the national side to date, and has suffered with intermittent injury problems during his career.
At the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, he began the tournament as Egypt's first-choice stopper, but ceded his spot to El Hadary after picking up an injury 25 minutes into the Pharaoh's opener - a 0-0 draw against Mali in Port-Gentil.
It was El Hadary who then captained the North Africans to the final of the biennial continental competition, notably impressing in the penalty shootout victory over Burkina Faso in the semi final.
Egypt begin their World Cup campaign against Uruguay in Yekaterinburg on June 15, before meeting hosts Russia in Saint Petersburg four days later.
They conclude their campaign against Saudi Arabia in Volgograd on June 25.
Mohamed El Shenawy and Sherif Ekramy will compete with El Hadary for the starting spot at Egypt's first World Cup appearance since 1990.