The chances of the Super Eagles at the forthcoming delayed 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroon early next year is precariously hanging in the balance following confirmation by Napoli that their injured talismanic Nigeria striker Victor Osimhen will be out of action for 90 days.
The 22-year-pld forward sustained fractures to his cheekbone and eye socket during Sunday’s 3-2 defeat by Inter Milan after clashing heads with defender Milan Skriniar.
The Italian side said yesterday that the centre forward had undergone surgery on the injury, and will be out for three months as a result.
“On Tuesday morning, Victor Osimhen was operated on his cheekbone and eye socket by Gianpaolo Tartaro, who was assisted by Dr Mario Santagata with Dr Raffaele Canonico also present,” the club announced. “Titanium plates and screws were used in the operation. The player is doing well and will remain under observation for the next few days.
“Osimhen is expected to return to action in three months.”
Osimhen has scored nine goals in 14 appearances for Napoli this season, and his injury serves as a devastating blow for the Serie A leaders, who top the table by goal difference after 13 games.
The long recuperating period comes as a huge blow for Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti who hoped Osimhen would remain out of action for just three or four games.
The Tuscan tactician had hoped Osimhen could return to action on December 19 in Napoli’s away Serie A clash against Milan.
Clearly, this won’t be the case anymore and Osimhen will also miss the Africa Cup of Nations that begins on January 9, 2022.
Incidentally, Osimhen who was the joint top scorer in qualifying for the delayed AFCON tournament with five goals, was expectedly left out of Napoli trip to Russia for their Europa League match against Spartak Moscow.