Collins was named in the initial 25-man squad, but he was surprisingly replaced by Awaziem
Cardiff City coach Erol Bulut has revealed that the club stopped Jamilu Collins from participating in Nigeria’s friendly games against Saudi Arabia and Mozambique later this month because he has a high risk of getting injured, Soccernet reports.
Collins returned to action in the summer after he sustained a cruciate ligament injury that ruled him out of action for over 41 weeks. Despite his injury, the 29-year-old has returned and fought his way into the team.
He has already featured in nine Championship games this season and has one assist to his name.
Collins was included in Nigeria’s squad for the last Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Sao Tome and Principe, which Nigeria won 6-0.
Ahead of the international friendlies against Saudi Arabia and Mozambique later this month, Collins was also included in the squad list.
However, the NFF later revealed that he would be replaced by Chidozie Awaziem. This caused some controversy, as the former Paderborn right-back had just completed 90 minutes in Cardiff City’s last game against Watford.
The Blue Birds boss has now clarified the situation. Bulut has revealed that Collins is at risk of sustaining an injury if he plays during the international break.
“Maybe I have to talk with the national team manager[Jose Peseiro] because he [Collins] will get injured if he leaves for the international break,” Bulut said per Wales Online.
“Neither side wants that. The club doesn’t need it, the national team doesn’t need it, we have to protect him.”
Nigeria already have adequate cover at right-back in Awaziem. The 26-year-old is versatile and can also play as a centre defender. Collins will look to return to full fitness soon as the AFCON is fast approaching.