• Sunday, December 10, 2023
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AFCONQ: Senegal’s Koulibaly makes timely return from injury ahead Rwanda tie


Senegal has received a major boost with defender Kalidou Koulibaly making his return from injury in time for upcoming international fixtures.

Koulibaly was expected to miss Senegal’s TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Rwanda on September 9 after picking up a knock playing for club side Al Hilal.

Reports suggested the former Chelsea centre-back could face weeks out, placing his selection for Senegal’s subsequent friendly against Algeria on September 12 in doubt.

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However, Koulibaly alleviated those fitness concerns by coming straight back into the Al Hilal starting line-up against Al Ettifaq on Monday.

The 31-year-old Senegalese played all 90 minutes just over two weeks after initially sustaining the injury.

Koulibaly’s swift return to action indicates he has recovered fully and will be available for Senegal boss Aliou Cissé next month.

The defender’s return is a major boost to the reigning African champions. As captain and leader, Koulibaly’s presence will be key for the crucial qualifier against Rwanda.

His availability also means Cissé can name his strongest side for the prestige friendly with Algeria.

After fears he could miss a chunk of the new season, Koulibaly has defied expectations with his early comeback for Al Hilal.