Nigeria's preparation for the crunch Group A game against Ivory Coast on Thursday faces a setback as midfielder Alhassan Yusuf will miss the crucial second group game at the Africa Cup of Nations.
The Antwerp midfielder sustained an injury during the first game against Equatorial Guinea, which ended in a 1-1 draw.
Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro shared the unfortunate news during a press conference leading up to the showdown with the host nation.
Alhassan misfortune for the Eagles
“For this game (against Ivory Coast), he (Alhassan) isn’t ready but he might be for the final group game,” stated the Portuguese coach.
Despite Alhassan Yusuf's exit in the 68th minute of his AFCON debut against Nzalang National, he put up a stellar performance, earning praise as one of Nigeria's standout players. Initially hopeful that the injury was not serious, it appears to be more severe than anticipated.
Having trained alone since the first game, it's evident that Yusuf will miss the significant clash with the Elephants. However, there is optimism for his return in the last group game against Guinea-Bissau.
AFCON 2O23: Nigeria receive Iheanacho boost
On a positive note for Nigeria, Kelechi Iheanacho is set to make a comeback.
Having recovered from injury, he participated in full training after missing the opening game against Equatorial Guinea.
His return provides a boost to the Super Eagles as they seek a crucial victory against Ivory Coast to enhance their prospects of advancing in the tournament.
A win for the Super Eagles will see them poised for a place in the knock-out stages while a loss will be a huge dent in their quest for a fourth African title.