SUPER Eagles midfielder Wilfred Ndidi has been ruled out of action for between six and 12 weeks after his club Leicester City revealed that the recent groin strain he picked up last weekend is much more severe than originally anticipated.
Last Sunday, Ndidi suffered a groin strain during Leicester’s Premier League 4-2 win over Burnley but managed to play for the duration of the game. He, however, missed Leicester’s mid-week game against Arsenal in the League Cup at the King Power Stadium and it now appears that the injury is serious.
Leicester City manager Brendan Rogers, said: “We’re just waiting to hear more on that but he could be out for anything between six and 12 weeks. It’s an abductor which may have come off the bone.
“It’s quite a nasty injury, so we’re waiting to see if he needs an operation or not. If it’s an operation, then he’ll be at least 12 weeks.”
As a result of the injury, Ndidi, 23 has pulled out of Nigeria’s international friendly matches against Ivory Coast and Tunisia set for next month in Austria. Nigerian Football Federation spokesman Toyin Ibitoye, said that the midfielder has already told coach Gernot Rohr that he is not likely to be fit for the two friendly games on October 9 and 13.
Mr Ibitoye said: “Ndidi is injured and will not make the trip to Austria for the friendly games against Ivory Coast and Tunisia. He has informed the coach and the federation about this latest development. We will miss him no doubt but then again, this is an opportunity for the other players to rise to the occasion.”
Coach Rohr may now have to look into his pool of standby players to fill the void created by Ndidi’s absence. Those on standby include Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor, Turkey), Ramon Azeez (Granada, Spain), Joshua Maja (Bordeaux, France), Henry Onyekuru (Monaco, France) and Tyronne Ebuehi (FC Twente, Netherlands).
Hoping to improve their ratings in the Fifa rankings, Super Eagles will take on the Elephants on October 9 and four days later will engage the Carthage Eagles, who are second in Africa in the rankings. Both games have been arranged by the NFF to prepare the Eagles for the next round of the 2022 African Cup of Nations qualifiers, which involves home and away games against Sierra Leone in November.