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Awoniyi doubtful for AFCON after suffering groin injury

Awoniyi doubtful for AFCON after suffering groin injury
November 23
15:14 2023

Nottingham Forest have confirmed that Taiwo Awoniyi will be out for “months” due to a groin injury. 

Steve Cooper, Forest’s head coach, broke the news during a press conference on Thursday.

Awoniyi played for the Super Eagles in the team’s 1-1 home draw to Lesotho last week in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers. He was substituted off in the 59th minute of the game and subsequently pulled out of the squad for the following match away to Zimbabwe.

Cooper said the complication picked up by the 26-year-old during the game will need surgery. Awoniyi had only recovered from a groin injury he suffered in October.

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“It’s bad news on Taiwo; he’s had to have surgery, and he is going to be out for months,” the Forest manager said.

“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.

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“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 su so thaty so that it will take a little while.”

The development means Awoniyi might not recover on time for the 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) billed for Ivory Coast — between January 13 and February 11, 2024.

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The burly striker joins Victor Osimhen, Samuel Chukwueze and Wilfred Ndidi on the Super Eagles’ injury list as preparation for the competition takes a more awry turn for Nigeria.

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