The three-time African champions are set to be without another player ahead of next year’s continental showpiece in Cameroon
Nigerian international Kingsley Michael has suffered a broken leg injury that will keep him out of action for at least four months, the midfielder’s Italian club Bologna FC have confirmed.
The 22-year-old suffered the horrific blow during Bologna’s 1-1 draw at Udinese at the weekend.
In just his second league appearance this season, Kingsley came off the bench for Swedish ace Svanberg a few minutes into the second half and was substituted by Italian midfielder Vignato 16 minutes later after requiring medical attention.
On the club’s official website, Bologna revealed that Kingsley has undergone successful surgery but will not take to the pitch until the new year.
The statement reads: This afternoon Michael Kingsley underwent surgery for the fracture of his left fibula which occurred during the Udinese vs Bologna match.
The operation performed by Dr Roberto Bevoni and his team at the Bentivoglio hospital was perfectly successful.
The player will have a few days of hospitalisation and will then begin the rehabilitation process. The expected recovery time is four months.
The injury is a blow to Kingsley, who would have been dreaming of working his way to be a part of the Super Eagles squad at the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations in January.
The former Golden Eaglets star was a member of the Victor Osimhen-inspired Nigerian national cadet team that lifted the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Kingsley made the step up to the Super Eagles level in September when, on his debut, he performed brilliantly to help Nigeria secure a 2-1 victory away to Cape Verde in a World Cup qualifier.
Head coach Gernot Rohr, who cannot call on many Nigerian centre midfielders in Europe’s top five leagues, will have to continue planning for Cameroon 2022 without Kingsley.
Kingsley’s injury also comes after it was announced that Oghenekaro Etebo would likely miss the competition due to an injury that will keep him out for five months.
The Super Eagles are among the favourites to win the continental championship, having navigated their qualifying series without losing a game.