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African All Stars

Nigeria dealt blow as Napoli’s Osimhen tests positive for Covid-19 ahead of Afcon

19:24 EAT 30/12/2021
Victor Osimhen
The Super Eagles preparations for the biennial African showpiece have been dented a massive blow as the striker tested positive for the virus

Nigeria international Victor Osimhen has tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of the commencement of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

The striker is asymptomatic and has begun a period of self-isolation, Napoli confirmed on their official website.

“SSC Napoli have announced that Victor Osimhen has tested positive for Covid-19 but is asymptomatic. Dr. Tartaro was due to perform a check-up on the player tomorrow,” a statement from the Serie A outfit read.

“Consequently, the local authorities have ordered that Osimhen self-isolate and the check-up will be rescheduled after he has tested negative and his period of isolation ends.”

This news will come as a big blow to the Super Eagles’ preparations for Cameroon 2021 as the 23-year-old is expected to lead the attacking line of the three-time African champions.

With this, he could miss the 2013 African champions’ opening Group D fixtures against Egypt (January 11) and Sudan (January 15) at the Roumde Adjia Stadium in Garoua.

Osimhen was named in Augustine Eguavoen’s 28-man squad for the 33rd edition of the African football showpiece after the former Lille star dispelled any concerns over his fitness, claiming he is fit.

"I will be available for Afcon at 100% unless I am not among the players picked to represent Nigeria," he wrote on Twitter.

The Super Eagle was injured during the Parthenopeans’ 3-2 Serie A defeat against Inter Milan on November 23, 2021, at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.

Following a clash of heads with defender Milan Skriniar, he could not complete the game and was replaced by Andrea Petagna four minutes before the hour mark.

Afterwards, he underwent surgery and the Italian outfit confirmed he would be out for at least three months.

Nonetheless, he returned to the squad after just 16 days on the sidelines - training with a custom carbon mask to protect his face.

The Lagos-born striker played a key role in Nigeria’s qualification for Afcon as well as the 2022 Fifa World Cup play-offs.