Nigeria is keeping an eye on the fitness of star striker Victor Osimhen, who missed the team’s journey due to feared “abdominal discomfort”.
The Napoli talisman started all five Africa Cup of Nations matches for the Super Eagles, scoring and assisting once, before being stretchered off in stoppage time of their 1-0 quarter-final win over Angola. According to The Athletic, a statement from Nigeria now confirms that Osimhen missed the team’s trip to Bouake on Monday due to “abdominal discomfort” and will be evaluated again on Tuesday before a decision is made. Nigeria will face South Africa in the first semi-final on Wednesday evening.
WHAT WAS SAID :
The press release went on to say: “Team members flew from Abidjan to Bouake today at 10 p.m. on an Air Cote d’Ivoire flight.” However, Osimhen was unable to travel owing to stomach issues. Team physicians confirmed that he has been placed under close surveillance, with a member of the medical team continuing in Abidjan with him. If cleared by tomorrow morning, he will rejoin the rest of the team before 5 p.m.
THE BIGGER PICTURE
Despite not being in the form that helped Napoli win the Scudetto last season, Osimhen remains a crucial member of Nigeria’s squad. The 25-year-old has 27 international caps and vast experience in both Italian and European competitions.
His departure will be felt deeply, but the Super Eagles can rely on guys like Ademola Lookman. In Cote d’Ivoire, the Atalanta attacker has three goals and one assist.
Did you know?
Nigeria has won AFCON three times and last tasted continental triumph in 2013, defeating Burkina Faso 1-0 in the final.
What comes next for Nigeria?
Nigeria is now 42nd in FIFA’s rankings, 24 places ahead of Wednesday’s opponents South Africa. They will be quietly optimistic of reaching their first AFCON final in 11 years, but may suffer a setback if Osimhen is ruled out.