By Victor Kanayo
Three Nigerian internationals – Samuel Chukwueze, Taiwo Awoniyi and Victor Osimhen are currently injured with different recovery rates ahead of the first two 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier matches in November, 2023.
To this end, latest updates have revealed that Chukwueze of AC Milan will certainly miss the Super Eagles qualifiers against Lesotho and Zimbabwe just like Napoli FC of Italy striker, Osimhen who is out of the crucial matches.
One Month Of No-Show
Chukwueze’s club announced that the winger suffered a hamstring injury on duty with the Super Eagles and he will therefore be sidelined for at least a month.
“Samuel Chukwueze is already back at Milanello: the Nigerian suffered a left hamstring injury while away on international duty,” said the Serie A leaders in a statement on the club’s website.
The Italian media have suggested he could only be back by November 25, which will be well past the upcoming games.
Different Stroke For Awoniyi
On a soothing note, Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper on Thursday provided a positive injury message on Awoniyi.
Awoniyi is currently sidelined with a groin injury.
He sustained the injury in Nottingham Forest’s 0-0 draw at Brentford earlier this month.
The 26-year-old missed Forest’s Premier League clash against Crystal Palace just before the international break.
Awoniyi was initially expected to be sidelined for around one month.
Progress In View
Cooper however said the striker is progressing well from the injury and is not far from returning to training.
“Taiwo is progressing well. He’s not far off some training, so let’s see how the next week goes, going into the game after Saturday,” Cooper was quoted by nottinghampost.com.
The striker has scored three goals in seven league appearances for the Tricky Trees this season.
Last season, Awoniyi was sidelined for around a month due to a groin problem.
The former Union Berlin player finished as the club’s top scorer with 10 goals from 26 outings.
Nigeria will begin their qualifying campaign in Uyo on November 13 against Lesotho.