INSIDE AFCON 2019: Collins Nears Return To Full Fitness, In Contention For Madagascar

– Abdullahi Sits Out Today’s Training

ALEXANDRIA – Super Eagles defender Jamilu Collins is nearing a return to full fitness and could be in contention for a start when Nigeria takes on Madagascar in their final Group B game at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday after stepping up his training today although right-back Shehu Abdullahi still seems on the road to recovery and sat out the team’s open training session held at the Arab Academy of Science, Technology and Maritime Transport on Friday.

Collins who trained  separately from the rest of the team has been sidelined since he picked up an injury in training on the eve of Nigeria’s tournament opener against Madagascar but started running for the first time today and also did drills involving the ball and cones before heading off for some gym work with Abdullahi who had an ice pack strapped to his thigh.

Eagles coach Gernot Rohr had said in the pre-match conference before Nigeria’s 1-0 victory over Guinea on Wednesday that the Paderborn of Germany left-back could make his debut against Madagascar but that Sunday’s game against the AFCON debutantes would be too soon for Abdullahi who sustained his injury in the first half of Nigeria’s tournament opener against Burundi.

Nigeria are through to the Round of 16 after successive 1-0 victories against Burundi and Guinea and require just a draw against Madagascar on Sunday at the Alexandria Stadium to top Group B.