Mohamed Salah contracted coronavirus while at home in Egypt and will miss Liverpool's match against league leaders Leicester City on Sunday, but until further tests have taken place nobody knows when he will return
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Jürgen Klopp, the Liverpool manager, says he understands the emotional pull for Mohamed Salah attending his brother’s wedding in Egypt, despite the possibility he was infected with Covid-19 as a result.
Salah is returning to England on Friday after a period of self-isolation in his home country following three positive tests. Images emerged of Salah attending his brother’s wedding during the international break, where it was clear he was in close contact with several friends and relatives.
He will undergo another test in the next 24 hours, after which it can be determined how many days he must wait before rejoining training and how many fixtures he will miss.
Klopp would not be drawn on the discussions he has had with the striker about how he became infected, stressing only that all his players have been ‘incredibly disciplined’ during the pandemic.
He said with certain family events — and with protocols differing between countries regarding private gatherings – difficult choices have to be taken.
“What I can tell you is I was in the summer in Germany and a friend moved his birthday party only because of me,” said Klopp. “Fifty people attended there and I decided at the last minute not to go — and that was only a birthday party and it was allowed in Germany. It was outside, but I didn’t go. That is only one situation.
“In other situations there is more social pressure on you and a brother’s wedding is a very special moment. What I can say about my players is they are incredibly disciplined. All players are incredibly disciplined; there were some cases, of course, but they really know about the situation. Sometimes it doesn’t work out like this and something happens and now we are in the situation we are in. All the rest is between Mo and me — we have done [discussed] that already and we are fine.”
Chris Bascombe's Liverpool briefing
Until Salah delivers a negative test, Liverpool cannot be sure how long he will be out. That has added more uncertainty to an already lengthy absentee list before Sunday’s Premier League game with Leicester City.
"Mo is probably back [in England] today, I’ve heard,” said Klopp on Friday. “We are in close contact with him all the time. It’s only when you have a negative test the process really starts. He feels well, no symptoms. There is absolutely nothing to say in the public about the things I talk to my players about.”
Klopp confirmed captain Jordan Henderson will miss Sunday’s match after suffering a groin issue for England. Trent Alexander-Arnold is also out. However, there will be late checks on Fabinho on Thiago Alcanatara, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is making progress.