Injury Demon Haunts Super Eagles

Coach Gernot Rohr will have battles to fight as the list of injured Super Eagles’ players keeps growing ahead of next month’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Sierra Leone.

Nigeria began their campaign for next year’s AFCON Qualifiers with a victory over Benin Republic and went on to beat Lesotho to top Group L with six points.

Victor Oshimen grabbed three goals in the two encounters for Nigeria and did nick in his 12th Ligue 1 goal against Strasbourg on Saturday to lift Lille among the front-runners in France. However, he was later taken out on a stretcher for a thigh injury.  

Leganes’ Kenneth Omerou who has been a growing force in the Super Eagles back-line was substituted 75 minutes into his side’s 2-0 loss to Levante on Saturday.

Winger Moses Simon joined Nantes in a loan move from Spanish side Levante but was was forced off in the 43rd minute and replaced by Guinea’s Abdoulaye Toure after scoring his ninth league goal in all competitions in the Canaries 3-3 draw against Dijon.

His presence in the game was severely felt as Coach Gourcuff admitted the exit of Simon affected his side in the encounter while stating he was waiting to get a report from the club’s medical team on the extent of the winger’s injury.

Leicester midfielder Wilfred Ndidi suffered a knee injury in training early January after playing 24 of his side’s 26 matches this season but underwent a surgery which saw him return against West Ham on January 22. He later played in the Carabao Cup semi-final second-leg defeat against Aston Villa but was pulled out of Saturday’s 2-2 home draw with Chelsea.

The Foxes Coach Brendan Rodgers is optimistic of Ndidi’s return on Valentine’s day against Wolve but however revealed the Nigerian International had been excluded from their game against Chelsea after being in physical pain.

He was down to play, even right up until the team-sheet going in, well before the game, but gradually he felt the pain.

‘’I can just tell. I’ve known Wilf long enough now. He’s a real warrior and a tough player, so to see him in the pain when he walked, it just made no sense to risk him.” He told The Foxes TV.

“We took it out of his hands, let him rest. He’s got a period of rest now, which will help his knee.”

Nigeria’s Super Eagles face Sierra Leone on March 23 on matchday 3 of the AFCON Qualifiers at home.

The Godswill Akpabio International Stadium has been scheduled to host the fixture according to reports.

List of Injured Super Eagles

1.       Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City)

2.       Victor Oshimen (Lille)

3.       Moses Simon (Nantes)

4.       Kenneth Omeruo (Leganes)