The Nigerian international is highly motivated to lead the Super Eagles’ attack at the 2021 Afcon, but medical experts continue to urge caution
Doctor Roberto Ruggiero has revealed that Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen is only halfway through his rehabilitation period as he is still in the healing process.
It is exactly a month today that Osimhen suffered multiple fractures in his head during a league clash against Inter Milan – a tie the Neapolitans lost 3-2.
Napoli later announced that the club’s record signing would be out of action for at least three months after he subsequently underwent successful surgery.
That forecast initially meant Osimhen would play no part in Nigeria’s hunt for a fourth continental crown at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.
But the 22-year-old has recovered faster than projected after he resumed individual training last week and was pictured today (Tuesday) in training with a specially designed face mask.
Even though Osimhen is yet to begin contact training with Napoli teammates, the former Lille lad declared today that he would be available for selection at the discretion of the national team handlers.
Doctor Ruggiero, who headed the team that created Osimhen’s protective mask, has explained the technology behind Osimhen’s mask.
The medical practitioner also noted Osimhen’s desire to return to action at once. Still, he urged the Nigerian to let his wounds heal completely before taking to a football field.
“What material was used? Kevlar and carbon,” Ruggiero told Radio Marte as per Tutto Napoli.
“Osimhen is fine, highly motivated: if it depended on him, he would be on the pitch already today. Now Canon will decide when to make him join the team; then there are the times of calcification and healing.
“In my experience, when could he come back? It takes technical times to heal, usually 90 days. You need to have time for ossification. Let’s say we are half done now.”
Osimhen’s availability for Cameroon 2021 would be cheering news for Nigerian head coach Augustine Eguavoen. With nine goals in his last ten matches for the Super Eagles, Osimhen is the country’s leading striker and would ordinarily be the first name on Nigeria’s 28-man list for the Afcon.
Nigeria will kick off their Afcon campaign against seven-time champions Egypt on January 11 before trading tackles with Sudan four days later and Guinea-Bissau on January 19.