Massive Osimhen blow for Napoli and Super Eagles as Nigeria striker faces lengthy time out

Massive Osimhen blow for Napoli and Super Eagles as Nigeria striker faces lengthy time out
Credit: Icon Sport

Following his exit from the Super Eagles camp, Victor Osimhen has been diagnosed with an injury to the biceps femoris of his right thigh.

The 24-year-old was in action for the Super Eagles against Saudi Arabia in the October 2023 international break. Although he failed to add to his tally for Nigeria, Osimhen was a threat in the game until his substitution in the second half.

It was later revealed that he was taken off as a precautionary measure, which made the injury less worse than it could have been.

Osimhen to miss six matches for Napoli in key competitions

Osimhen, the top scorer of the 2022/23 Serie A season, has had a good start to his Capocannoniere defence.

Napoli, however, are not in the best place with Rudi Garcia and are currently in fifth place on the table, seven points off AC Milan at the top of the standings.

Osimhen has also been involved in a controversy with the club which has delayed his contract extension.

The latest injury could affect the player's standing with the club as injuries have plagued him throughout his career in Italy.

Napoli's statement reads: “After the injury suffered in the national team, Victor Osimhen was examined today and underwent further tests which highlighted a medium-grade lesion of the biceps femoris of the right thigh.

“The striker has started treatment at the SSCN Konami Training Center.”

It is expected that Osimhen will miss three guaranteed games but additional coverage by Sky Sports Italia suggests that this injury has a recovery time of six weeks minimum.

This means that Osimhen will miss the weekend's Serie A action, their upcoming crunch clash against leaders Milan, and both their clashes in the UEFA Champions League against Union Berlin.

Indeed, it would be interesting to see how the reigning Italian champions fare without their star forward.

Garcia, who is under fire for how he has started the season, is now short of a key figure that could guarantee the safety of his job.

With the likes of Antonio Conte, Igor Tudor, Marcelo Gallardo and Graham Potter all waiting in line to take the role, he will have to find a quick solution with Osimhen out for the foreseeable future.

Osimhen a doubt for Super Eagles World Cup qualifiers

Victor Osimhen could also miss the Super Eagles' upcoming 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers fixtures against Lesotho and Zimbabwe on 13 and 20 November 2023.

The Super Eagles were grouped alongside those two teams, Benin Republic, Rwanda and South Africa in Group C.

The winner will go on to qualify directly for the tournament while the four best runners-up will head to an inter-confederation playoff tournament to determine their participation.

Osimhen's injury recovery period sees him return just before the international break.

Napoli may not be willing to let him participate in the international break for this reason, so that they can have him for the run of games before he jets off to Ivory Coast in January with Nigeria for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

Should Osimhen miss out on the World Cup qualifiers though, it could be an opportunity for the likes of Taiwo Awoniyi, Victor Boniface and Terem Moffi to prove their worth in the absence of the Napoli man.

This article was most recently revised and updated 8 months ago

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