AFCON 2021: Osimhen recovers from COVID-19 two days before Nigeria’s first game

Nigerian football striker, Victor Osimhen

Nigerian football striker, Victor Osimhen

The Punch, Sodiq Oyeleke

Nigeria’s Super Eagles and Napoli football club striker, Victor Osimhen has recovered from coronavirus.

His club, Napoli, made this known on Thursday via their Twitter handle.

His recovery is coming two days to Nigeria’s first game at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations.

The prolific striker had been ruled out of the competition before his recovery.

“Victor is negative for COVID and will return to Italy in the coming hours,” the Partenopei wrote on Twitter.

The 23-year-old, who is still recovering from surgery after suffering a smashed cheekbone against Inter Milan in late November, was tested before travelling to Italy for a check-up on Friday.

Osimhen also tested positive for COVID-19 last year’s January after returning from Christmas holidays in Nigeria.

His participation in AFCON had been a subject of controversy between Nigeria Football Federation and his club, Napoli.

Nigeria later succumbed to dropping Osihmen for AFCON, replacing him with Henry Onyekuru.

Announcing the decision to drop Osimhen, NFF said in a statement, “Lively forward Victor Osimhen’s positive test to the coronavirus pandemic a couple of days ago and injury to the versatile Abdullahi Shehu have constrained changes to Nigeria’s final 28-man list for the 33rd Africa Cup of Nations starting in Cameroon next weekend.

“Osimhen’s absence paves way for Greece-based Henry Onyekuru who was also at the last finals in Egypt. In-form rapid raider Emmanuel Dennis, whose English Premiership club is baring fangs, has been excused to provide room for Czech Republic-based forward Peter Olayinka.”

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