Iheanacho’s AFCON Fate Hangs in Balance Amidst Muscle Injury Concerns

by Hashim
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Leicester City and the Nigerian Kelechi Iheanacho chances of playing at the 2024 AFCON hangs over doubts, MySportDab reports.

Kelechi Iheanacho may miss the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cote d’Ivoire due to a muscle injury sustained during an English Championship game against Ipswich.

The injury came to light as Iheanacho was absent from Leicester City’s recent 2-0 victory over Cardiff, and manager Enzo Maresca disclosed that the player picked up the injury in the aftermath of the Boxing Day draw with Ipswich.

With just two weeks remaining until the commencement of AFCON, Iheanacho’s inclusion in Nigeria’s 25-man squad hangs in the balance pending further medical evaluation.

The severity of Iheanacho’s muscle injury is yet to be determined, with the assessment ongoing.

Maresca expressed uncertainty about the timeline for the striker’s return, stating, “We are still waiting to see if it’s something important or a matter of days. But I don’t think he will be able for the next one (against Huddersfield).”

The Leicester City manager emphasized that the extent of the injury will ultimately determine Iheanacho’s availability for the AFCON tournament.

Maresca further elaborated on the situation, emphasizing the pivotal role the assessment plays in determining Iheanacho’s fate for AFCON: “We don’t know yet (if it will affect his Afcon call-up). It depends on the injury. If it’s an important injury, he has no chance to go. If it’s not important, he can go.”

Leicester City faces the prospect of being without five players in January, and potentially the first half of February, as key figures like Wilfred Ndidi, Patson Daka, Abdul Fatawu, and Harry Souttar are set to represent their respective national teams in various tournaments.

Ndidi is part of the Nigeria squad, Daka is expected to feature for Zambia, Fatawu is in contention for Ghana’s squad, and Souttar will be representing Australia at the Asian Cup.

As the medical assessments unfold, both Leicester City and the Nigerian national team anxiously await the verdict on Iheanacho’s injury, with the AFCON kick-off looming.

The striker’s potential absence would undoubtedly be a significant blow for both squads, impacting their aspirations in the prestigious continental tournament.

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