Victor Osimhen has been ruled out for three months following surgery on his broken cheekbone, dealing a severe blow to Nigeria’s 2021 Africa Cup Of Nations plans.
The 22-year-old striker has been in fantastic form for Italian side Napoli scoring five goals in 11 Serie A games this season.
He was forced off after 55 minutes of Napoli’s 3-2 loss to Inter Milan on Sunday after clashing heads with Milan Skriniar.
Tests showed he sustained an injury to his cheek bone and surgery was scheduled for Tuesday which has now been successfully performed.
A Napoli statement said: “Victor Osimhen was operated on this morning by Prof. Tartaro, assisted by Dr. Mario Santagata and in the presence of Dr. Canonico, for a reduction and restraint operation of multi-fragmentary and displaced fractures of the malar bone, of the zygomatic arch and pommel, of the floor and lateral wall of the orbit, and of the diastasis of the frontal-zygomatic suture.
“The synthesis of the bone abutments was done with titanium plates and screws.
“The player is fine and will remain under observation for a few days.
“The prognosis is estimated to be around 90 days.”
The devastating news means the former Lille forward who has scored 10 goals in 18 caps will now likely miss the AFCON in Cameroon which begins on 9 January.
The development is likely to negatively affect the Super Eagles’ chances of winning a fourth African title and creates more uncertainty with the future of national team boss Gernot Rohr still unclear.
He will also miss Napoli’s Europa League game against Leicester City next month. In three appearances in the competition this season, he has already scored four times.