By Izuchukwu Okosi:
Egypt left-back, Mohamed Abdel-Shafi, is doubtful for the crucial 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against the Super Eagles of Nigeria in March due to knee injury, Completesportsnigeria.com has learnt.
Nigeria will host the Pharaohs in the first of the two legged ties on March 23. The Super Eagles will travelfive days later for the return leg in Egypt.
Egypt's online media outlet, Ahram.org.eg, informs on Tuesday that Abdel-Shafi who also plays as a winger sustained the injury while on league duty for his Saudi Arabian club, Al-Ahli against Al-Khaleej .
The defender/winger with the number 13 jersey was substituted in last 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 through a statement in its official website.
"Doctors have yet to determine the rehabilitation period," the statement added amid reports that Abdel-Shafi could be out for the rest of the season.
Egypt are hoping to reach the Nations Cup for the first time since winning the last of their record seven titles in 2010. The team defeated the Super Eagles in the group stages in that year's AFCON hosted by Angola.
The north Africans 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.