Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi has confirmed that AC Milan midfielder Ismael Bennacer is not fit enough to feature in their third match of the Africa Cup of Nations due to injury.
Speaking during a press conference ahead of the match against Mauritania (via Milan News), Belmadi explained that both Bennacer and Ramy Bensebaini will be absent from the team but he thinks they have the squad to deal with it.
“Bennacer and Bensebaini will not be present in the next match, we are sorry but we have a large squad,” he said.
Algeria have drawn their first two group-stage matches against Angola and Burkina Faso. Bennacer started in the Angola match but then had to miss the Burkina Faso one due to a muscle injury.
The Algerian has missed almost the entirety of this season for Milan through injury as he suffered a serious knee problem at the back end of the 2022/23 campaign.
He was racing to get fit for the AFCON and managed to make a couple of Milan appearances in which he impressed, so that is what led to Algeria choosing him for the tournament.
It is perhaps not surprising that he has picked up a muscle injury as various parts of his body will have weakened whilst recovering from the knee injury.
Algeria could be out of the tournament if they do not get the right result against Mauritania.