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Afcon 2021: Boost for Senegal as Matar Sarr recovers from Covid-19

3:16 PM EST 1/12/22
Pape Matar Sarr Metz
The 19-year-old missed the Teranga Lions' opening win in Bafoussam due to health issues

Metz midfielder Pape Matar Sarr has linked up with his Senegal teammates on Wednesday following his recovery from the coronavirus.

Sarr announced his arrival in Bafoussam, two days before Aliou Cisse's men face Guinea for their second match at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

The 19-year-old was among the players who stayed in Senegal alongside Chelsea's Edouard Mendy who tested positive for Covid-19 last week.

The Thiaroye-born star made his international debut for the Teranga Lions in March 2021 against Congo and he could make his first appearance on the Afcon stage on Friday.

“Very happy to be able to join my teammates in Cameroon after having tested negative today,” Matar Sarr tweeted.

Guinea and Senegal made winning starts to their respective campaigns in Cameroon with the former registering a 1-0 win over Malawi while Cisse's side struggled for a hard-fought 1-0 win over Zimbabwe, thanks to Sadio Mane's last-minute penalty.

However, it was another blow for Senegal after Watford’s Ismaila Sarr left their camp for a trip to Barcelona where he will meet a knee surgeon.

The 23-year-old is still recuperating from a knee ligament injury that had kept him out of action since November.

“The Senegalese Football Federation (FSF) informs that the player Ismaila Sarr is currently in Barcelona [Spain] for medical check-ups planned for a long time to judge the evolution of his injury, these reviews show positive development,” the statement read.

“After discussions with his surgeon, the medical staff of Watford, that of the FSF as well as the player, it was agreed that Ismaila Sarr would follow a rehabilitation program with a view to returning to the field.

“This program was stopped by mutual agreement two weeks after which he will return to the Den. He is expected in the Den in Cameroon immediately after.

“Close daily monitoring will be done in order to assess the player's progress. Until then, the FSF will keep the opinion of the player’s situation regularly informed.”