Osimhen confirmed to miss 2022 AFCON, World Cup playoffs

It has now been confirmed that Super Eagles leading scorer in the qualifications matches to the 2022 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) and FIFA World Cup same year, will miss the continental competition as well as the playoffs for the World Cup.

Osimhen’s facial injury

While the AFCON holds in January 2022, in Cameroon, the playfoffs also take off from February, next year.

The striker suffered a serious facial injury during a Serie A match between his club Napoli and Inter Milan last Sunday, which he lost by 2-3 and also a first loss for the Naples outfit.

A statement released by Napoli Tuesday, said Osimhen is expected to be out for at least 90 days of three months, even as the club, manager Luciano Spalleti said, Osimhen could return before then.

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Osimhen underwent successful surgery Tuesday and Luciano Spalletti hopes to have him available for the match against Milan on December 19.

“I hope he will return against Milan, the doctors told me that the surgery won’t prevent him from being available in three or four games,” Spalletti said.

The striker fractured his cheekbone in the Napoli-Inter Milan match, last Sunday. He sustained the injury following a clash of the head with Inter Milan defender Milan Skrina in the second half of the encounter.

However, in another twist to the injury saga, Surgeon Gianpaolo Tartaro has revealed that Osimhen got his face badly crushed but that the surgery on the face was successful.

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Tartaro said the injury was not a simple cheekbone fracture but that it also affected several bones of the player’s face.

The Nigeria international walked off the pitch with a swollen cheekbone and black eye and was rushed to the hospital afterwards.

A surgery was performed on the face on Tuesday, according to a statement by Napoli, and a recovery time of three months was set by the club.

Tartaro, one of the surgeons at the operation, said in an interview with 1 Station Radio, that the clash damaged Osimhen’s face badly and it was too early to talk about recovery time.

“Osimhen injury was not a simple cheekbone fracture but also affected several bones of the face,” said the doctor.

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“It was not a shock trauma, but compression: the kinetic force generated by the crushing of Osimhen’s face against Skriniar’s created devastating damage.

“It is still too early to talk about recovery times because the surgery was really complex: the conditions of the player’s face were very bad but I guarantee that the surgery was perfectly successful,” he added.

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