Egypt winger Abdel-Shafi could miss Nigeria clash

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Tuesday 9 Feb 2016

Abdel-Shafi is a major doubt for Egypt's clash against Nigeria as he faces months on the sidelines

Egypt's Mohamed Abdel-Shafy (R) fights for the ball with Saber Khelifa of Tunisia during their African Nations Cup qualifying soccer match in Cairo September 10, 2014 (Reuters)

Egypt winger Mohamed Abdel-Shafi is doubtful for the crucial match against Nigeria late March due to injury.

The Pharaohs will host the Super Eagles in the 2017 Cup of Nations' qualifiers on one day between 26-29 March.

The former Zamalek star, who currently plays for Saudi heavyweights Ahli Jeddah, was substituted in Friday's league match against Al-Khaleej due to pains in his right knee.

"Abdel-Shafi needs a surgery in his knee as the medical staff's trials to cure his pains have failed," the Saudi club announced via a statement in its official website late on Monday.

"Doctors have yet to determine the rehabilitation period," the statement added amid reports that he could be out for the rest of the season.

In July 2015, the Saudi club announced the signing of Abdel-Shafi from Cairo giants Zamalek on a three-year deal for $2.8 million.

The 30-year-old, who has been one of Zamalek's most consistent performers since joining in 2008, spent the last season on loan at Ahli Jeddah.

He quickly established himself as a key player at the club and was acclaimed by Saudi media for a string of impressive displays.

Ahli Jeddah currently lies second at the Saudi league table with 35 points, two behind leaders Al-Hilal after playing 15 matches.

Egypt are bidding to reach the Nations Cup for the first time since winning the last of their record seven titles in 2010.

They are on top of Group G of the Nations Cup qualifiers with maximum six points from wins over Tanzania and Chad. Nigeria are second on four points.

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