Koulibaly, Mendy return to Senegal training at Cup of Nations

Edourd Mendy
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Senegal captain Kalidou Koulibaly and first choice goalkeeper Edouard Mendy returned to training at the weekend as they await a COVID-19 all-clear after missing their country’s opening two matches at the Africa Cup of Nations finals, officials said on Sunday.

The pair had been among the players initially left behind by Senegal when they travelled to the tournament in Cameroon after returning positive tests.

But they trained separately from the rest of the squad as Senegal await the results of their latest PCR tests ahead of their last group game against Malawi in Bafoussam on Tuesday.

Bamba Dieng, the last of the players to recover from the coronavirus, arrived on Saturday from Senegal while Idrissa Gana Gueye and Fode Ballo Toure, who were both forced to miss this second Group B game against Guinea after returning positive tests, have since tested negative and resumed training with the rest of the squad, the Senegal Football Federation added.

Senegal, who were among the pre-tournament favourites, have been hard hit by the virus and struggled in their opening two matches, but still managed to beat Zimbabwe 1-0 and draw with Guinea, giving them four points and almost certain progress to the last 16.

Chelsea goalkeeper Mendy played the first two group games for Senegal at the last Cup of Nations finals in Egypt in mid-2019 before breaking his finger, which required surgery, and missed out on the rest of the tournament as Senegal reached the final and ended runners-up to Algeria.