Egypt defender Rami Rabia to miss Nations Cup through injury
Egypt will be without the services of their Al Ahly defender Rami Rabia at the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon because of injury.
It is a blow for the Pharaohs who are back at Africa's showpiece football event after a seven year absence.
The last time they featured at a finals - in Angola in 2010 - they were crowned champions for a record seventh time.
Egypt will play in Group D of the Nations Cup in Gabon, alongside Ghana, Uganda and Mali.
The Pharaohs head coach, Hector Cuper, was already sweating over the fitness of his Roma winger Mohamed Salah, who suffered an injury in Italy.
Now, Cuper has a worry in his defence after Al Ahly announced the injury to Rami Rabia.
"Rabia picked up an injury in training on Sunday. A scan has shown he will be sidelined for six weeks," Al Ahly announced.
That means the player will definitely miss the Nations Cup which kicks off on 14 January.
Cuper had been picking the Al Ahly duo of Ahmed Hegazy and Rabia as his regular centre-backs pairing, but injury forced him to use Zamalek's Ali Gaber instead of Rabia in their 2-0 win over Ghana in a World Cup qualifier in November.
Cuper is expected to announce his full Nations Cup squad after the latest round of Egyptian league fixtures which end on Thursday with the derby between Zamalek and Al Ahly in Cairo.
The Egyptian Football Association has announced that the Pharaohs will play a friendly international against Tunisia on 8 January in Cairo in front of 10.000 fans as part of their build-up to the Nations Cup.