Mohamed Salah’s Champions League final ended in heartbreak on Saturday evening, as the Liverpool forward suffered a game-ending injury in the first-half against Real Madrid.
It was later announced that the 25-year-old had suffered a dislocated shoulder, an injury which could rule him out of the 2018 World Cup.
However, the Egyptian FA later tweeted that they had been informed Salah had sustained “a sprain the shoulder ligaments”, raising hopes he could yet travel to Russia.
Salah landed awkwardly on his shoulder after a challenge from Real captain Sergio Ramos, with the Spanish defender appearing to keep hold of the Egyptian’s arm as they tumbled to the ground.
But exactly how bad is the injury and when will Salah likely be back at full fitness?
What is a shoulder dislocation?
The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the human body. But because of this, it is also at increased risk for instability due to athletically-induced trauma.
The NHS website states: “A dislocated shoulder happens when your upper arm pops out of your shoulder socket.
“The shoulder is one of the easiest joints to dislocate because the ball joint of your upper arm sits in a very shallow socket.”
Dislocated shoulders result in immediate pain as well as an inability to move the arm.
What happens next for Salah?
The Egyptian international was assessed by Liverpool’s medical team on the pitch and deemed not fit to continue.
He then travelled to a local hospital in Kiev before regrouping with the squad after the 3-1 defeat.
Liverpool later released an official statement, reiterating comments made by Jurgen Klopp earlier in the night.
Klopp told his post-match press conference: “It’s a serious injury, a really serious injury. He is in the hospital for an X-ray. It’s either the collarbone or the shoulder itself. It doesn’t look good, that’s it.”
So how long will he be out?
That’s the million dollar question. The NHS say that a dislocated shoulder can take 12-16 weeks to recover from.
“A dislocated shoulder takes between 12 and 16 weeks to heal after the shoulder has been put back into place.”
The World Cup begins in just over two weeks’ time, in 18 days. Egypt’s first match, against Uruguay, takes place on the second day of the tournament.
Salah will obviously receive world-class treatment and there is a possibility that it is not a severe dislocation.
But it would appear very unlikely he will return to any form of training within the next two weeks.
Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher suffered a dislocated shoulder in the 2010/11 season and was ruled out for two-months.
Will he travel to the World Cup?
Egypt will likely take Salah to Russia regardless.
But the odds of the Premier League’s top goalscorer making it onto the pitch appear slim at this stage.
What have Egypt said?
The Egyptian national team tweeted after the final whistle in Kiev that Salah, who is due to meet up with them next week ahead of the World Cup, will undergo a scan on the injured shoulder.
They said: “Dr. Mohammed Abu Ola, the national team doctor, said that on the telephone call he made at the Liverpool Medical Service, Mohammed Salah was wounded in the shoulder, they added that the x-rays of the day would be done on the site of the infection to determine its range, appropriate treatment and how long it would take. Get well soon Mohamed Salah.”
And what has Salah said?
The man himself is optimistic.
In an Instagram post on Sunday evening, Salah said he expects to play in Russia with the Egyptian national team.
“It was a very tough night, but I'm a fighter,” he wrote.
“Despite the odds, I'm confident that I'll be in Russia to make you all proud. Your love and support will give me the strength I need.”