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‘I’m completely healthy’ – Arsenal’s Aubameyang after premature return from Afcon

10:35 IST 21/01/2022
The 32-year-old reveals his health condition just a few days after returning to London from the continental finals

Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has moved to clear the air about his health situation by stating his "heart is absolutely fine".

The Gabon international was sent home from the Africa Cup of Nations by the Panthers despite not featuring in any match, with health problems being cited as the reason behind the move.

The 32-year-old arrived in Cameroon ahead of the tournament but he could not play the opener for Gabon after he tested positive for Covid-19 at Yaounde airport on January 6.

He missed the clash against Comoros, a game Gabon won 1-0 alongside team-mate Mario Lemina, whom he had travelled with from Abu Dhabi, and had also returned positive Covid-19 results.

Despite returning negative results ahead of their second fixture against Ghana's Black Stars, Aubameyang was declared not fit to play after another test showed he still had remnants of Covid-19 in his system.

Aubameyang has taken to his social media pages to assure fans he is fine and working on his fitness.

“I came back to London to do some additional checks, and I’m very happy to say that my heart is absolutely fine and I'm completely healthy,” the former Borussia Dortmund striker posted on his Instagram page.

“Really appreciate all the messages over the last few days and I'm already back at it.”

On releasing Aubameyang from the tournament, Gabon coach Patrice Neveu said: “It’s very complicated. I’m not new to this team, I’ve worked with Gabon for three years, and fortunately, Caf gave us the option of having a squad of 28 players.

“However, losing Pierre-Emerick and Mario, it’s a lot for this team. We don’t have the squad of Nigeria or Morocco, and we know we’re in hard competition.

“Since yesterday, the decision was taken to send them home to their club. We can’t judge it here [in Cameroon], we can’t assess the pathology of Covid here. It’s important that Mario returns to Nice and Pierre returns to Arsenal. It’s a decision that we’ve taken among ourselves.”

Aubameyang’s last game for Arsenal was in the 2-1 defeat against Everton at Goodison Park on December 6 and he has since been stripped of the club’s captaincy role by head coach Mikel Arteta for alleged breach of discipline.