By Niyi Busari
The Super Eagles’ hope of seeking redemption from Tuesday’s second leg Africa Cup of Nations qualifier away to Sierra Leone has been dealt a wicked double-blow, with Villarreal of Spain winger, Samuel Chukwueze and Club Brugge of Belgium attacker, Emmanuel Dennis Bonaventure both nursing injuries.
Chukwueze, who scored one of Nigeria’s goals in their embarrassing 4-4 draw with Sierra Leone in the first leg on Friday, is in doubt for the reverse fixture alongside Bonaventure, while SSC Napoli of Italy striker, Victor Osimhen, who bowed out at Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City after scoring the Eagles’ second goal is already ruled out of the clash in Freetown.
BSNSports.com.ng can report that, consequently, Osimhen, Bonaventure and Chukwueze were not part of the drills, as the Eagles resumed training Saturday afternoon with a recovery session at the same venue of Friday’s sad implosion that led to a very infamous draw.
While Osimhen suffered a shoulder injury, Bonaventure sprained his ankle in the last training session before Friday’s match, and the 22-year-old attacker had an ice pack wrapped around his ankle during Saturday’s recovery session, but managed to jog round the pitch before settling down.
Similarly, Chukwueze barely managed to walk round the pitch because of a groin complaint that he suffered in the second half of Friday’s game and he had to be replaced by CSKA Moscow of Russia winger, Chidera Ejuke in the 78th minute.
While Osimhen, Chukwueze and Bonaventure stayed on the sidelines, those among their colleagues that played larger parts against The Leone Stars did stretches with emphasis to free up the body, but those that had fewer minutes or were unused substitutes had a kick-about during the recovery session.
Osimhen, who was seen wearing a shoulder sling on Saturday morning, was directed to receive further tests to determine the severity of the injury that forced him to make way for Racing Genk of Belgium’s lanky hitman, Paul Ebere Onuachu with 12 minutes remaining.
The initial prognosis was that Osimhen could be sidelined for a minimum of two weeks, but top shots of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) said they want a second medical opinion ahead of the trip to Freetown, and the lad will get a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan in Benin City.
Eagles’ coach, Gernot Rohr confirmed that Osimhen will not be part of his squad for Tuesday’s game in Sierra Leone, as the Franco-German tactician told ESPN: “Shoulder luxation. He will be out for a few weeks.”