Fathi sustains minor injury before Egypt head to St Petersburg for Russia clash

Eslam Omar, Sunday 17 Jun 2018,
Egypt's Ahmed Fathy, left, and Uruguay's Martin Caceres challenge for the ball during the group A match between Egypt and Uruguay at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Yekaterinburg Arena in Yekaterinburg, Russia, Friday, June 15, 2018 AP

Egyptian winger Ahmed Fathi did not complete the Egyptian national team's training session on Sunday morning. With Argentinean coach Hector Cuper at the helm, the team were training in Grozny, two days ahead of the Russia showdown.  

"Fathi left training early due to a muscle strain. Medical staff confirmed that his injury won’t leave him sidelined from training on Monday, or from upcoming matches,' the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) stated on their official website Sunday.

The solid Ahly right winger, who is also able to perform in central defence or midfield, is a key player in the record-holding African team and it would be tough for Cuper to do without him.

The Pharaohs, who welcomed back their star player Mohamed Salah into full trainings on Saturday, have shown determination to win the next two games to make it to the round of 16.

The team's morale remains high despite a loss 1-0 loss against Uruguay. After a brave show from Egypt on Friday, a killer header by Jose Maria Gimenez from a corner shot by Carlos Sanchez in the 89th minute secured the result for Uruguay.

The team is scheduled to take a three-hour flight to Saint Petersburg where they will meet the host nation’s team in a do-or-die mission on Tuesday at 20:00 Cairo time.

Russia made an impressive World Cup opener, defeating Saudi Arabia 5-0 on Thursday. FIFA President Gianni Infantino was in attendance, sitting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad Bin Salman.

Egypt are playing their third ever World Cup, and the first in nearly 30 years since their last appearance in1990.

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