Super Eagles striker Victor Osimhen has finally spoken about the circumstances surrounding his injury in November 2021 which saw him miss three months of action in the 2021/22 season.
The injury also ruled him out of action for the Super Eagles who were preparing for the 2021 African Cup of Nations in Cameroon. The tournament took place in January 2022 due to several unforeseen circumstances including the COVID-19 pandemic. The Napoli man, who was a shoo-in for the team, had to sit out what would have been his second official tournament for the Nigerian national team due to the devastating injury.
The striker went in for an aerial challenge with Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar which saw his face bashed in as he clashed heads with the Slovakian. Osimhen had to be taken straight to the hospital for scans and multiple fractures to his facial bones were identified. He was prepped for surgery and ruled out for three months.
However, the former RSC Charleroi striker recovered in under two months and was back in training, which was described as miraculous by Gianpaolo Tartaro, the surgeon who handled the case. He wore facial protection for the rest of the season and is currently carrying around metal plates to help the bones reset.
His recovery seems to be progressing fine as he is now playing football again without facial protection.
I thought it was something small, Osimhen says
The 23-year-old gave an interview to a local radio station in Lagos about his season and the injury was brought up. Osimhen claimed it was a near-death experience, but he was confident in himself to heal fast and return to doing what he loves on the pitch.
“That injury I had against Inter Milan was like a near-death injury. I am the only one that felt it, and I can only speak about how I felt because it was my face and body.” Osimhen said. “But to be able to stand up without using the stretcher, walk out of the pitch on my own, then I knew that it was something I could handle.
“For me, as I got to the hospital, I told my doctor that I would be out for two weeks maximum. When the scan came out, I fractured many bones, which they had to remove and fix inside again. I have like 18 screws under my jaw. I went through a lot. A lot of sleepless nights. I could not sleep, I could not eat with the pain. But at the end of the day, I am a lion, and I know the kind of mentality I have.
“In my mind, I had already scheduled my return following the surgery.”
This article was most recently revised and updated 1 month ago