Senegal say Sarr may play in Africa Cup of Nations after 'positive' injury news

Senegal's head coach Aliou Cisse hugs Senegal's Ismaila Sarr after loosing the African Cup of Nations final soccer match between Algeria and Senegal in Cairo International stadium in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, July 19, 2019. (AP)

Watford midfielder Ismaila Sarr could yet be able to play for Senegal in the Africa Cup of Nations finals after a 'positive development' in medical checkups on his injured knee, the Senegal Football Federation said on Wednesday.

Sarr, injured in a Premier League match against Manchester United in November, was reluctantly released by Watford after being called up by his country for the tournament in Cameroon.

"Sarr is currently in Barcelona for previously planned medical check-ups to examine his injury. These reviews have resulted in a positive development," said a statement from the Senegal Football Federation.

"After discussions with his surgeon, the medical staff of Watford and the Senegal Football Federation as well as the player, it was agreed that Sarr follow a rehabilitation program with a view to returning to the pitch.

"This program will last two weeks after which he will join the squad in Cameroon. Close daily monitoring will be done to assess the player's progress."

Watford had released Sarr to travel to Dakar only after Senegal threatened to ask for FIFA’s intervention.

The club, struggling near the foot of the Premier League, said in a statement this week that he has not been fit to play since suffering the knee ligament injury on Nov. 20. It had provided details of the injury and MRI scans to Senegal, it said.

"The Hornets have also invited the Senegal Football Federation to instruct their own independent surgeon to confirm the diagnosis and rehabilitation period."

Senegal opened their Cup of Nations campaign with a last gasp win over Zimbabwe on Monday and are next up against Guinea in Group B action in Bafoussam on Friday.

By Reuters 6 hours
Football
Liverpool forward Takumi Minamino completes permanent move to Monaco
Football
World's best footballers spend holidays in Africa
By Charles Odero 13 hours ago
Football
From Kenyan refugee camp to World Cup: Australian Awer Mabil joins Spanish club Cadiz
By Reuters 1 day ago
Football
Petr Cech to leave role as Chelsea's technical and performance adviser