Liverpool are concerned Mohamed Salah has suffered a recurrence of an ankle problem that has already made him a doubt for their next Premier League game.
The Egypt international, 27, was substituted in the 87th minute of Sunday’s 3-1 win over Manchester City.
He looked to have been injured in the first half after colliding with Fernandinho but was able to play on after receiving treatment.
It has since emerged, though, that Liverpool are fretting about the damage that Salah suffered in the challenge, particularly as he has been carrying an injury in the same ankle since he was fouled by Leicester’s Hamza Choudhury on October 5.
Salah has insisted on reporting for international duty with Egypt this week, having missed last month’s get-together. They play Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Kenya — in Alexandria on Thursday — and the Comoros Islands next Monday.
Salah (below) will undergo scans while he is with his national team and if the results show any major issues, Liverpool will send medical staff out to treat the scorer of 80 goals in 121 matches for Jurgen Klopp’s team.
One of the things that has so impressed about Salah in his two-and-a-half years on Merseyside is his durability. He has only missed three matches —Burnley, January 2018; Everton, April 2018 and Manchester United, October 2019 — out of a possible 88 Premier League games over that period.
Liverpool now fear his place is vulnerable for the trip to Crystal Palace on Saturday week and will remain in close contact with Egypt. Salah has had fluid on his ankle and been told to follow a personalised training regime at times over the past month.
Klopp will be particularly concerned as Salah, who scored against City, had looked better on Sunday than he had done for some time. It was his first goal in open play in the league since September 14.
Salah worries have put a cloud on what was otherwise a great weekend for Liverpool.
But Virgil van Dijk stressed that their eight-point lead means little with 26 games remaining in the season.
‘We are in a very good situation,’ he said. ‘But the season is too long to celebrate. We just have to carry on and keep doing better. ‘Hopefully we will do it but we can’t think about it.’