EGYPT and Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny will not recover from injury in time to face Burkina Faso in Wednesday’s Africa Cup of Nations semi-final.
The 24-year-old is still nursing a calf problem that kept him out Sunday’s 1-0 quarter-final win over Morocco.
“Elneny has a bad calf strain. We will send a medical report to his club,” said coach Hector Cuper.
“He will have tests and we hope that if we manage to reach the final he will be able to return.”
Egypt will face Burkina Faso in their semi-final in Libreville on Wednesday and they are likely to be without striker Marwan Mohsen for that game, too. Mohsen came off in the first half against Morocco.
Cuper said: “Mohsen looks to have a serious problem with a knee but we will need to carry out more detailed tests.”
Egypt’s progress to the last four keeps them on course to win a record-extending eight Nations Cup title, and their first since 2010.
It would also be a remarkable return for the Pharaohs, who are at the finals for first time since that success seven years ago.
But they were perhaps fortunate to get past Morocco, who missed a host of good chances, and edged to victory with an 87th-minute winner from Abdel-Moneim.
“It was a very complicated match for both teams for 94 minutes. We both had chances but we were lucky to get the goal from a dead ball,” said Cuper.
Morocco’s elimination ended coach Herve Renard’s hopes of winning the title for a third time, with a third different nation – he won it in 2012 with Zambia and in 2015 with Ivory Coast.
“I am proud of all the players. One by one, honestly they were exceptional,” said Renard.
“We must not have regrets. We must just be proud of what we have done because we have come a long way.”