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Salah sidelined for ‘4-6 weeks’

09 November 2015, 18:55

Rome - Roma winger Mohamed Salah could be sidelined until the New Year after being diagnosed with ligament damage in his right ankle, the Serie A side announced Monday.

Salah, who has hit five league goals for the Giallorossi since making his move from Chelsea permanent two months ago, was stretchered off early in the second half of Roma's 2-0 derby win on Sunday following a rash challenge by Senad Lulic.

The Egyptian international's right ankle bent inwards after Lulic ran in and stamped on Salah's foot, leaving the Roma man on the ground in agony, slamming his hand on the turf.

Although fractures were ruled out on Sunday, further tests on Monday revealed Salah has "sustained a grade II ligament damage to his right ankle," according to a club statement.

"It is expected that the Giallorossi No. 11, who has made 11 league appearances for Roma so far this season and is the club's third-highest scorer with six goals in all competitions, will be out for between four and six weeks."

Roma coach Rudi Garcia was furious with the tackle, which somehow went unpunished, and later hit out at officials.

"Tackles like that don't belong, even in a derby. The players need protection," said the Frenchman.

"You've seen the pictures, I'll say no more. I just hope there's no break."

The Frenchman is likely to be further angered after losing a player who has been crucial to Roma's attack this season.

Salah is arguably Roma's quickest player and though he is far from the finished article, the 23-year-old's ball control and passing abilities have been key to Roma's strong start to the campaign.

After giving Roma a second-minute lead against Bayer Leverkusen last week, Salah ran the German side's defence ragged as Roma scraped a 3-2 win at the Stadio Olimpico.

The result left Roma second in Group E behind runaway leaders and defending champions Barcelona, but with Leverkusen only one point behind Roma, the Italians' bid to end their five-year wait to reach the last 16 will depend on how they fare in their final two games, away to Barcelona and at home to BATE Borisov.

Salah will be sorely missed for both games, and Juan Iturbe or Iago Falque -- as well as club captain Francesco Totti, who is recovering from injury -- will now be expected to step up and replace the Egyptian on the right flank.

Roma's win on Sunday, meanwhile, left them in third spot in Serie A, one point behind leaders Fiorentina and second-placed Inter Milan following their respective wins away to Sampdoria and Torino.

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