Egypt manager Hector Cuper has given fans an update on the fitness of Liverpool star Mohamed Salah - insisting that the 26-year-old star is fit ahead of a crunch group stage match against Russia on Tuesday.
Salah failed to play a single minute of the Pharaohs' 1-0 defeat to Uruguay on Friday as he continues his recovery from the shoulder injury he suffered in last month's Champions League final, but - barring a last minute setback - he should feature against the hosts.
Quoted by ESPN, Cuper said: "Salah is fit. We always carry out a last physical test before we announce our lineup and today we will have an important test for him to see how he does. I think he will be able to play. He is an essential piece in our team."
He continued: "He's a great player, a crucial player, that much is perfectly clear. Salah is one of the best players in the world. For me there's no shadow of a doubt there. It's an honour and a privilege to coach him.
"On top of being talented, he is humble. He is a team player and that at least for me is extremely important now. He's an important player for us. Nobody can deny that. I say it with all due respect to the other players in the Egyptian squad.... I think he'll be able to play."
Meanwhile, Russia boss Stanislav Cherchesov insisted that his players are unlikely to be overly physical with Salah in an attempt to aggravate his injury, saying: “What can I say? I trust in my team. I believe in my players. We are ready to do this and we will do this.
“Is someone going to behave as Ramos behaved? I don’t understand the question. I saw that he was holding the cup of the Champions League and tomorrow there will be no cup. I believe that Ramos did not do this on purpose. This is a contact sport and, as I understand, no one injures people from other teams on purpose.”