Super Eagles forward Taiwo Awoniyi risks missing Nigeria’s outing at the delayed 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) billed for early next year, having been ruled out for “months” with a groin injury.
Gatekeepers News reports that Nottingham Forest Head Coach Steve Cooper disclosed this on Thursday.
Cooper said, “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.”
The 26-year-old picked up the injury in Nigeria’s 1-1 draw with Lesotho in a Group C qualification game for the 2026 World Cup.
Awoniyi has been instrumental for Forest this season. Already, the striker has four Premier League goals in 10 matches. Last term, he netted 10 times in the domestic campaign as Cooper’s men battled and survived relegation.
Cooper added, “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.
“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’s injury will be a big concern to the Super Eagles who are set to battle for the top honour at the 2023 AFCON in Cote d’Ivoire next year.
He started Nigeria’s game against Lesotho but returned to England after picking up an injury during the clash.