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Mo Salah looks certain to miss Sunday’s table-topping clash with Leicester, EVEN if he gets a Covid all clear.
Salah tested positive for coronavirus while on international duty with Egypt, despite being asymptomatic, and went into isolation last Friday.
But the Egyptian FA suggested that the star forward – who was transferred to the resort of El Gouna in a fully sterilised car to continue his isolation – will have a third test on Thursday, and if that returns negative, he will be allowed to return to Merseyside.
That has raised the hope that if he is all clear of the virus, he could play against Leicester. But Premier League protocols are clear that any player testing positive MUST self-isolate for a minimum period of 10 days, with no exceptions.
Mo Salah looks certain to miss Liverpool's game against Leicester this weekend
(Image: Pool via REUTERS)
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That means even if he returns to Liverpool and is given the all clear with another test at the airport under new arrangements set up by the league, he must complete the 10 day isolation period before he is allowed to play again.
He must also convince government officials that he has remained in an international football travel corridor, which would allow him to relax strict rules saying anyone returning from abroad into the UK must self-isolate for a period of 14 days.
The government has indicated that players returning from international duty will be exempt from that rule, if they have remained in a closed bubble with their national team. But Salah first attended his brother Nasr’s wedding in his home town in Egypt.
Liverpool have sought clarification on the matter, and it is likely the Anfield icon will be allowed to return to training next Monday, if his test returns negative. If he does, it gives him a chance of facing Atalanta in the Champions League.
Salah tested positive for coronavirus while away on international duty
(Image: SIPA USA/PA Images)
The fact that he will miss the Leicester game though, is a blow to boss Jurgen Klopp, who is already without first choice defensive trio Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold for the pivotal Premier League clash.
Klopp is also sweating on injured skipper Jordan Henderson, who returned to the club’s Melwood training ground on Tuesday, after being released from England duty with a muscle problem.
Henderson was assessed by club medics, and now faces a race against time to be fit to for the Sunday evening clash, though the club remains hopeful he will respond to treatment.
Klopp meanwhile, welcomed the official opening of the club’s new training complex, which will see first team players come together with academy talent for the first time. And the manager insisted it was an important moment in club history.
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“It’s essential, it’s absolutely important,” Klopp said of bringing the youth talent closer to the first team players. “Look, I’m the kind of coach who wants to be really connected with these boys.
“I want to know about them and I want to see them and I want to give the other coaches the opportunity to watch our training. “It will improve the process, massively. The relationship with the Academy, it will be as close as ever and that’s really good.”