Mohamed Salah: Liverpool forward a doubt for Leicester clash after second test confirms Covid-19

Mohamed Salah initially tested positive for coronavirus on Friday and government rules mean he must isolate for 10 days; Liverpool forward not suffering from any symptoms but is a doubt for next game at home to Leicester on November 22, live on Sky Sports

Mohamed Salah during the Premier League match between Liverpool and West Ham United
Image: Mohamed Salah could miss Liverpool's next match, against Leicester on November 22

Mohamed Salah is in "high spirits and not showing symptoms" after having his coronavirus diagnosis confirmed by a second test, the Egyptian FA has confirmed.

The Liverpool forward is self-isolating and not expected to play in the two Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Togo on Saturday and Tuesday.

He is also a doubt for Liverpool's clash with Leicester on November 22 due to UK government coronavirus rules dictating a 10-day isolation period after a positive test.

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"Egyptian national team and Liverpool star Mohamed Salah has undergone a second test and results have confirmed that Salah tested positive for Covid19," the EFA said in a statement.

"All necessary medical precautions have been taken in line with the global medical protocol and under the supervision of Dr Mohamed Sultan, head of the medical committee at the EFA, as well as Dr Mohamed Abou El Ela, Egyptian National Team doctor.

Joe Gomez 7:18
John Aldridge assesses Liverpool's defensive problems after Joe Gomez was badly injured training with England

"While the first swab has offered a positive result, the Egyptian FA has decided to carry out a second test to confirm the result.

"Salah is keeping a high spirit and is not showing any symptoms of the virus. He has been isolated and the National Team's doctor is currently liaising with Dr. Jim Moxon, head of Liverpool FC's medical staff, regarding this matter."

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The diagnosis piles more team-selection misery on the champions, who are already without a raft of players because of injury - the latest centre-back Joe Gomez, who could miss the rest of the season with a knee injury suffered with England.

Liverpool's upcoming fixtures

  • Nov 22: Leicester (H) - PL
  • Nov 25: Atalanta (H) - CL
  • Nov 28: Brighton (A) - PL
  • Dec 1: Ajax (H) - CL
  • Dec 5: Wolves (H) - PL
  • Dec 9: Midtjylland (A) - CL

Virgil van Dijk is already out long term while right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold is also sidelined, while Fabinho, Thiago Alcantara and Joel Matip have recently been carrying knocks.

The Egyptian FA announced Salah's initial positive test on Friday and added that the rest of the Egypt team were negative for the virus.

Liverpool are next in action against Leicester in eight days' time - live on Sky Sports - a match Salah would miss under current UK Government guidelines despite being asymptomatic.

It would also make him a doubt for the home Champions League tie against Atalanta on November 25 given he would be unable to train with his club team-mates.

The Government website states: "If you do not have symptoms but have tested positive for COVID-19, stay at home and self-isolate for 10 days from the day the test was taken."

Salah is also the fourth Liverpool first-team player to test positive for coronavirus this season, following Thiago in September and then Sadio Mane and Xherdan Shaqiri in October.

Mohamed Salah during Liverpool's pre-season in Austria
Image: Mohamed Salah is the fourth Liverpool player to test positive for coronavirus

'Unknown if Salah caught virus at brother's wedding'

The doctor of the Egyptian national team told SNTV on Saturday that Salah's attendance at his brother's wedding may have contributed to him contracting Covid-19, but that not enough is known about the virus to say definitively.

The news of the positive test came after pictures emerged of Salah at his brother's wedding, some of which showed the striker not wearing a mask.

Mohamed Salah 0:40
The doctor of the Egyptian national team Mohamed Abou Elela says it is not possible to say if Mohamed Salah's attendance at his brother's wedding might have contributed to him getting Covid-19

Dr Mohamed Abou Elela, when asked if Salah could have been infected at the wedding, said: "No one knows because... unfortunately, we still don't know everything about the virus. My answer is maybe yes, maybe no."

Abou Elela said the side's physio had come into contact with Salah and had tested negative but was still isolating.

"Because we have our own protocol, [Salah] was immediately isolated and we checked again about symptoms and the one [person] who was in contact with him all the time was actually my physio. He was isolated too, we have another test for him and the physio - unfortunately he was positive, the physio was still negative but still, he's in isolation too."

Liverpool set to be missing seven first-teamers against Leicester

Virgil van Dijk chats with Joe Gomez during a Liverpool training session
Image: Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez (right) will both miss Liverpool's home clash with Leicester with long-term knee injuries

Analysis by Sky Sports' Richard Morgan:

Mohamed Salah's positive test for Covid-19 means the Egypt forward joins a lengthening list of players set to miss Liverpool's top-of-the-table clash with Leicester City at Anfield next weekend.

Jurgen Klopp has already lost centre-backs Virgin van Dijk and Joe Gomez to long-term knee injuries, while the Premier League champions' defence will also be missing regular right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold due to a calf strain sustained in their last league outing at Manchester City.

Meanwhile, Liverpool might be unable to use versatile holding midfielder Fabinho as cover in defence against the Foxes, with the Brazil international still recovering from the hamstring strain he picked up against FC Midtjylland at the end of October.

Trent Alexander-Arnold went down with a suspected calf injury in the 63rd minute of Sunday's draw against Manchester City
Image: Trent Alexander-Arnold sustained a calf injury last time out against Man City

All of which means Klopp will be without three of his first-choice back four when the Premier League returns to action after the international break, with midfield also a problem area for the German.

Summer signing Thiago Alcantara is still suffering from the effects of the knee injury he sustained against Everton on October 17, although there is hope the playmaker may be fit enough to feature against Leicester.

However, the same cannot be said of fellow midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who injured his knee in pre-season training at the end of August and is still yet to resume training.

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