Zamalek midfielder Ferjani Sassi has been ruled out for the rest of the season with an ankle injury which threatens to sideline him from the 2019 Afcon finals.
The Tunisia international limped off just 16 minutes into the Zamalek-Hassania Agadir match in which the Egyptian giants won 1-0 to advance to the Caf Confederation Cup semi-finals on Sunday.
This was the first match after his return to the team, after missing the previous two Zamalek matches due to suspension.
But his comeback was greeted with a fracture of his supramalleolar and his ankle now needs immediate surgery.
According to Tunisian radio station Mosaique FM, the Tunisia Football Federation has requested that the midfielder fly to his home country to begin rehabilitation which will see him out for at least six weeks.
This development has saddened Zamalek coach Christian Gross who will now complete the Tunisian Ligue 1 and Confederation Cup campaign without their star player.
“The injury is really worrying and very sad for me. I expect the injury not to be that serious,” Gross was quoted as saying by Hackesh.
Sassi has been a key member of the Tunisia squad with whom he participated at the 2015 and 2017 Afcon finals as well as last year’s Fifa World Cup.
At this year's Afcon, Tunisia were drawn in Gropup E together with Angola, Mali and Mauritania.