May 24, 2024

Taiwo Awoniyi To Miss AFCON 2023 After Undergoing Surgery

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By Our Correspondent

Nottingham Forest striker Taiwo Awoniyi has undergone groin surgery and is set to miss the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, with manager Steve Cooper revealing at a press conference on Thursday morning that the Super Eagles star will be sidelined for at least two months.



The former Liverpool man aggravated a groin injury during Nigeria’s 1-1 draw against Lesotho a week ago, leading to his substitution around the hour mark.



Awoniyi was forced to withdraw from the Super Eagles squad for their most recent international against Zimbabwe as he flew back to England for extensive medical examination.




Tests have confirmed that the injury suffered by the physical center forward is worse than initially feared and he will now spend an extended spell on the sidelines.



With the tournament kicking off in Ivory Coast on January 13, Awoniyi will not have recovered in time to be included on the Nigeria roster for the Africa Cup of Nations.



In quotes relayed by Nottingham Forest’s official website, Cooper told the national media in England: “It’s bad news on Taiwo, he’s had to have surgery and he is going to be out for months.



“We’ll support him and try to get him back as quick and as fit as he can be, but it’s a really unfortunate situation and a blow for him.




“He’s become an important player for us with the goals he’s scored and the goals he will score for us, but he’s such a good guy and a good professional who is desperate to do well, so to get an injury like this is harsh on him.”




Cooper continued: “We’ve got to support him through the process of coming back stronger. He’s done that once before here and I’m sure he will give everything again like he did last time.




“You think about how well he did when he returned last season, I’m sure that’s given him a good reference point to come back to.




“We’ll definitely see him again this season, but it’s groin surgery so it will take a little while.”


Awoniyi was a key member of the Nigeria squad to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, where he started three of the four matches played by the national team.



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