Egypt defender Hegazy doubtful for Cameroon final, Kouka out

Ahram Online , Saturday 4 Feb 2017,
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Hegazy
African Cup of Nations - Semi Finals - Burkina Faso v Egypt- Stade de l'Amitie - Libreville, Gabon - 1/2/17 Egypt's Ahmed Hegazy looks dejected Reuters

Egypt could lose one of their key performers in Sunday's anticipated African Cup of Nations final against Cameroon after defender Ahmed Hegazy hurt a hamstring muscle during a training session on Saturday, Ahram Sport reported.

Replacing the towering central defender, who played an instrumental role in keeping opponents at bay as Egypt conceded a solitary goal during their run to the final, will be difficult for Egypt coach Hector Cuper, who is already grappling with several other injuries.

Local reports said Hegazy's condition will be assessed before the game.

Should the former Fiorentina man fails to recover in time, his Ahly teammate Saad Samir is expected to deputize for him.

Sporting Braga striker Ahmed Kouka has been already ruled out of the match due to a pelvic injury. His absence leaves Cuper without an out-and-out frontman at his disposal after Marwan Mohsen tore a cruciate knee ligament in the 1-0 quarter-final win over Morocco.

"Unfortunately I will not be able to play and help my teammates tomorrow ... I did my best but unfortunately I couldn't overcome the injury. I support and believe in my team mates to lift the AFCON tomorrow," Kouka said on his Instagram account. 

However, the Argentinean boss should welcome back Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny and left-back Mohamed Abdel-Shafi, who were also sorely missed when Egypt beat Burkina Faso 4-3 on penalties following a 1-1 semi-final draw on Wednesday.

The Pharaohs will be bidding for a record-extending eighth Nations Cup title when they meet four-time winners Cameroon in Libreville.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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