Egyptian star Mo Salah has been in a race against time to get fit for the World Cup ever since suffering an injury in the Champions League final in May.
The Liverpool forward dislocated his shoulder following a challenge from Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos and needed three weeks to recover, putting him in serious danger of missing the tournament.
Will Mo Salah Play Against Russia Tonight?
Mo Salah's agent confirmed on Sunday that he will be fit for the game tonight.
Mohamed is fit.
— Ramy Abbas Issa (@RamyCol) June 17, 2018
This was backed up by the Egyptian Football Asociation this week. Manager Hector Cuper, speaking at the pre-match press conference, said that Salah was indeed fit to play.
However, there is a caveat: Mo Salah will be subject to a late fitness test ahead of the game, and should he not pass that, he will not play any part.
This was the case ahead of the opening fixture against Uruguay as well; Cuper confirmed Salah's fitness beforehand, but evidently did not pass the fitness test and thus didn't play a minute against the South Americans.
Egyptian supporters will be hoping for a positive result from that fitness, as the Pharoahs' attack was blunted and lacked imagination without their key player.
Meanwhile, Russia manager Stanislav Cherchesov dismissed suggestions that his side would target Salah should he play in the crucial tie tonight.
The seven-time African Cup of Nations winners sit in third place in Group A with no points so far having lost their opening game 1-0 to the Uruguayans. Tonight's clash with Russia, who opened their home campaign with a stunning 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia, will be crucial to their hopes of progression to the round of 16.
Egypt face Saudi Arabia, by far the weakest team in the competition, on June 25 and will hope to have Mo Salah fully fit by then.
Main image via YouTube/FIFATV