LIBREVILLE, Gabon - Morocco goalkeeper Issam Badda was diagnosed with a benign form of malaria at the African Cup of Nations on Wednesday and received a blood transfusion at a hospital.

Team doctor Hefti Abderrazak said Badda was released from the Libreville hospital following the transfusion. The reserve 'keeper was recovering at the team hotel and still receiving treatment for Type 3 malaria, Abderrazak said.

Abderrazak says the Moroccan players were all taking malaria medication for the tournament in the central African country, where the disease is prevalent.

Marouane Chamakh was also recovering after picking up a stomach illness. The Arsenal forward's illness was not related to malaria, Morocco team media officer Dounia Lahrech told The Associated Press in an email.

Lahrech said Chamakh had been seen by a doctor after complaining of stomach pains but it was "nothing serious."

Morocco coach Eric Gerets said Chamakh also had a slight fever which kept him out of training.

It was unclear if both players would be well enough now for Morocco's must-win game against co-host Gabon on Friday.

Gerets' team fell to a surprise 2-1 loss to Tunisia in its opener on Monday at Libreville's Stade de l'Amitie, making the match against the home team critical to its chances of progressing to the quarterfinals.

Abderrazak said both players would likely return to training on Thursday but that appears to be optimistic — particularly for Badda. Morocco still has first-choice keeper Nadir Lamyaghri and Mohamed Amsif, however.

There are about 216 million cases of malaria worldwide each year, 81 per cent of those in Africa. Gabon's sweltering temperatures and equatorial climate are part of the reason for the disease's presence.

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