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Napoli may stop Osimhen from 2022 African Cup of Nations

By Christian Okpara
29 December 2021   |   3:31 am
Super Eagles Striker, Victor Osimhen’s hopes of playing in Nigeria’s opening game at the Cameroon 2022 African Cup of Nations against Egypt is hanging on the balance as his club’s doctors...

[FILES] Nigeria’s striker Victor Osimhen kicks the ball during the 2022 Qatar World Cup African qualifiers group 3 football match between Nigeria and Central Africa Republic at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, in Surulere in Lagos State, on October 7, 2021. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

Striker not ready for Eagles’ opener against Pharaohs

Super Eagles Striker, Victor Osimhen’s hopes of playing in Nigeria’s opening game at the Cameroon 2022 African Cup of Nations against Egypt is hanging in the balance as his club’s doctors have said he is not yet fit for action.

In fact, Napoli may even stop the striker from representing Nigeria at Cameroun 2022 to allow his collar bone injury to heal properly.

Napoli is expected to return to Serie A action on January 6 against Juventus, which is three days before the kick-off of the African Cup of Nations.

Nigeria’s game against Egypt is on January 11, but Napoli’s doctors say Osimhen may not be sufficiently healed before the game.

According to football-italia.net, Osimhen spent the Christmas break in Nigeria, but he is expected to return to Naples on Friday for a medical check after a cheekbone surgery undergone at the end of November.

Napoli ruled him out of action for three months, but Osimhen said last week that he would be available to play for his country in the Africa Cup of Nations from January 9 to February 6.

Nigeria’s training retreat begins today and it is still unclear whether or not Osimhen will join his teammates for the first training session before the beginning of the tournament.

According to the report, Osimhen is unlikely to be available against Juventus and the upcoming medical check-in Naples is crucial to assess his injury.

“It takes from 60 to 90 days for the bone callus formation unless there is a biological Christmas miracle,” Gianpaolo Tartaro, the doctor who performed Osimhen’s surgery, told Il Corriere dello Sport as quoted by Calciomercato.com.

Therefore, Osimhen may not be allowed to play against Juventus and even in the Africa Cup of Nations, the report said, adding: “In that case, it will be Nigeria’s responsibility to consider the player available for the tournament.”

Nigeria recently named its final 28-man squad for the African Cup of Nations with Osimhen expected to lead the attack.

All invited players, bar the UK-based crew, are expected to arrive in camp in Abuja today, with the UK-based players expected to start arriving on January 3, 2022.