Mohamed Salah stays on Egypt bench for World Cup clash vs. Uruguay
Egypt's Mohamed Salah was named on the bench for his country's first 2018 World Cup match against Uruguay, but remained an unused substitute for the 1-0 defeat in Yekaterinburg on Friday.
Barcelona forward Luis Suarez, a former player at Salah's club Liverpool, was named in the starting lineup for Uruguay in attack along with Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani.
Salah, who scored 44 goals for Liverpool last season, injured shoulder ligaments in the Champions League final defeat by Real Madrid on May 26 and has not played since, keeping fans in suspense before Egypt's first World Cup finals in 28 years.
Egypt coach Hector Cuper made three changes during the match, but Salah, on his 26th birthday, remained on the bench.
Cuper said in his prematch news conference on Thursday that he could "almost 100 percent say [Salah] will play, save for any unforeseen factors at the last minute.
He added: "We're trying to make him feel confident. The doctors are giving him the options to play or not. I know Salah very well, he's not fearful, we always know we're running a risk when playing a match, that's something we can't hide.
"But if he does decide to play, he'll have full guarantees on his physical condition and I'm sure he will be fine. And if it does turn out there's an issue at the last minute, we'll consider it and see if it can be resolved."
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Egypt are back in the World Cup finals for the first time since 1990, and their progress to the round of 16 could hinge on Salah enjoying the form that saw him voted England's Player of the Year by his fellow professionals.
Uruguay are their toughest opponent on paper, and they will fancy their chances of advancing from Group A, which also includes Russia and Saudi Arabia.
Information from Reuters was used in this report.
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