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‘Injured Balogun will be ready for Eagles’ next round of friendlies’

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Leon Balogun (second left) celebrates with his mates after Super Eagles’ 1-0 defeat of Zambia, which stamped Nigeria’s ticket to the Russia 2018 World Cup. PHOTO: AFP.

There is not much to fear after all. The injury to Super Eagles’ defence lynchpin, Leon Balogun, will not be enough to deprive Nigeria of his services when the country begins the next round of friendly games in preparation for the Russia 2018 World Cup, a Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) official has revealed.

A local website reported at the weekend that Balogun has undergone surgery after suffering a fracture to his left hand on Friday.

According to the report, due to the ailment, the star did not suit up for Mainz in their 1-0 win over Cologne on Saturday afternoon.

It added: “Leon Balogun suffered a middle hand fracture on his left hand on Friday, which was treated surgically.

“However, with appropriate healing and a track, the center-back can return to the pitch in the coming weeks and be available for the last group matches.”

The latest injury is coming after Balogun suffered a fractured cheek bone before Nigeria’s recent matches against Algeria and Argentina, and had to wear a protective mask on his face.

The central defender went the distance against the North Africans and was on the pitch for an hour against the two-time world champions.

Speaking on the defender’s condition, the NFF official, who pleaded anonymity, said the federation was in touch with the player, who has assured that he is receiving adequate treatment from his club’s doctors.

“We understand that he will be ready to play when we start our next round of tune up games early next year, but we will keep monitoring him and other players.

“Balogun has become a reliable defender in our team and the technical committee, as well as the federation, are constantly monitoring him and others to ensure that we have our best players available when we need them.

“Just recently, Victor Moses, who has been out of our recent matches due to injury, have started training and we hope he will return to action soon.”



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