Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen has been hit by another setback in the build-up to next month’s Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Cameroon.
This follows Thursday’s announcement by Napoli that Osimhen has tested positive for Coronavirus while returning to Italy.
The Nigerian striker at about this time last year also tested positive for the same virus after reportedly attending a party.
Spotted in Nigeria a few days ago for yuletide celebrations with his family, PREMIUM TIMES had reported the likelihood of Osimhen returning to his base for a scheduled medical check-up meant to ascertain his full recovery from a nasty injury suffered in November.
Now, Napoli have announced their star striker won’t return to Italy as he tested positive for COVID-19 before boarding from Nigeria.
Osimhen, who recently celebrated his 23rd birthday, has been included in the Nigeria 28-man squad list for the Africa Cup of Nations starting in less than 10 days.
The gangling striker had been ruled out for three months, but he started individual training early in December faster than anticipated and was once pictured after a session with a teammate.
A specially designed face mask was also provided for the Super Eagles striker to aid his integration into group training and green light from doctors would have laid to rest the uncertainties around his participation at the 2021 AFCON.
However, Gianpaolo Tartaro, the surgeon who operated on Osimhen in November, told Corriere Dello Sport that the player needed more time to heal.
“For the formation of the callus bone, according to world protocols, it takes from sixty to ninety days. Unless a biological miracle,” the surgeon was quoted as saying.
“If he does not do the CT scan, we will not be able to dissolve the prognosis. Reduced fractures must consolidate: I repeat, for the formation of the callus, you have to wait two or three months unless a Christmas biological miracle: but biology is not a fan.”
Ahead of the medical check-up, the swab test Osimhen underwent in Nigeria before boarding came back positive, so the player didn’t leave his native country, Napoli announced.