Super Eagles captain, William Troost-Ekong, will miss Monday’s 2023 Africa Cup of Nations final Group A encounter with Guinea-Bissau.
The centre-back is also doubtful for the remainder of the tournament.
Troost-Ekong scored the penalty kick that handed Nigeria a 1-0 win over the Elephants of Côte d’Ivoire in their second group game but that seems to have come at a cost.
The PAOK Salonika defender suffered a hamstring injury in the first half of that game but his high sense of patriotism and commitment made him finish the game through the pain barrier, still posting a five-star performance in the process.
Troost-Ekong has been unable to train with the rest of his Super Eagles teammates since after the match, working separately on his own with the ball as seen on Sunday evening at Nigeria’s training session ahead of the Guinea-Bissau game held at the Police College, Cocody, Abidjan.
The absence of the Netherlands-born defender – who is the only Nigerian defender (after the great Stephen Keshi) to have scored in three different editions of the Africa Cup of Nations – is believed to be a big blow to the team’s aspirations for the remainder of the tournament.
It is expected that Troost-Ekong will continue to undergo treatment while it is hoped that the hamstring injury is not as bad as first feared, so that he can recover on time for Nigeria’s round of sixteen game.
Kasimpasa of Turkey defender Kenneth Omeruo is expected to take the vice-captain’s place at the heart of the defence against Guinea-Bissau at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium, Abidjan on Monday evening. Left back Zaidu Sanusi who has also not trained since the Ivorian game is also a doubt for Monday’s game.
Meanwhile, midfielder Alhassan Yusuf has started his way back to recovery after the injury he suffered against Equatorial Guinea last Sunday. The Royal Antwerp star was seen running normally and taking shuttle runs as he bids to be fully fit before a likely round of sixteen appearance.