Mali coach Alain Giresse has decided not to replace injured Nice striker Mahamane Traore, officials said on Tuesday.
Traore is nursing a foot injury and was to have been replaced by Cheick Fantamady Diarra from Rennes.
The change was even approved by the confederation of African Football (CAF) but the Nice striker has made remarkable recovery.
Mali federation media spokesman Souleymane Diallo said Giresse has therefore opted to keep Traore, who team doctors said will not be available for at least the next 10 days.
Nice striker Traore, 23, has not been involved in his team's training since they arrived in Gabon for the championship from a training camp in Lome, Togo.
He has over 20 caps for his country and he is regarded as a very important player for Les Aigles.
Mali have already been forced to make two late changes to their final squad for the tournament.
Toulouse defender Mohamed Fofana has been dropped after he suffered a thigh strain, while Denmark-based Khalilou Traore has also been replaced due to injury.
Mali face Guinea here later Tuesday in their opening Group D game.