Egypt have left Mohamed Salah out for their upcoming friendly against Botswana, as they manage the Liverpool forward’s fitness after a busy start to the season.
Salah was initially named among new manager Hossam El-Badry’s squad for the October international break, having also been handed the captaincy.
This came after suggestions of a rift between the 27-year-old and his national team, with Salah posting a cryptic message on Twitter last month reading “whatever they do to try to change my love for Egypt, they will not succeed.”
It appears there are no issues between Salah and the Egyptian FA (EFA) however, with El-Badry making the decision to rest his star man for his first game in charge.
Egypt take on Botswana in a hastily scheduled friendly in Cairo on October 14, but Salah will instead take a short break to avoid any injury concerns.
The EFA confirmed in a statement on Tuesday that El-Badry had contacted Liverpool’s No. 11 to “check on his health and to learn the extent of his stress due to the pressure of successive games with his club.”
It continued that Salah “may need a period of rest during the next stage to preserve him from any future complications.”
According to Egypt Today, the 67-cap international has now been omitted from the squad.
This ensures Salah will be rested ahead of the Reds’ trip to Old Trafford to take on Man United in the Premier League on October 20.
He had already enjoyed a short holiday during the September break, as Egypt had no fixtures, joining Sadio Mane at Melwood for training when Jurgen Klopp welcomed back his initial squad.
Mane will depart for duty this month, however, as Senegal take on Brazil in Singapore on October 10, with Fabinho and Roberto Firmino among the opposition.
The decision to hold the friendly in Asia is certainly a questionable one, given the majority of both squads ply their trade in Europe; Brazil also play Nigeria on October 13.