Leicester City star Wilfred Ndidi has pulled out of Nigeria’s international friendly matches against Ivory Coast and Tunisia set for next month in Austria.
Ndidi is said to have aggravated a groin injury, having starred for the Foxes in last Sunday’s Premier League clash against Burnley.
The Nigeria International was at heart of the defence for Brendan Rodgers’ side as they coasted home to a 4-2 win.
Though Ndidi got plaudits for his superlative performance in that victory, it has turned out to be at an extra cost.
The media officer of the Super Eagles, Toyin Ibitoye, told Sportinglife.ng that the midfielder has already told coach Gernot Rohr and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) that he’s not likely to be fit for the two friendly games on October 9 and 13 in Austria.
“Ndidi is injured and will not make the trip to Austria for the friendly games against Ivory Coast and Tunisia. He has informed the coach and the federation about this latest development. We will miss him no doubt (about) that, but then again, this is an opportunity for the other players to rise to the occasion” Ibitoye said.
Apart from his impending miss from national team assignments, Ndidi will also miss Wednesday night’s Carabao Cup third round clash against Arsenal at the King Power Stadium and will undergo further tests today to know when he will return to action.
The Super Eagles Coach, Gernot Rohr, had picked Ndidi and 24 others for the double October friendly.
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The Franco German may now have to look into his pool of standby players to fill the void created by Ndidi’s absence.
Those on standby include: Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor, Turkey); Ramon Azeez (Granada CF, Spain); Joshua Maja (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Henry Onyekuru (AS Monaco, France); and Tyronne Ebuehi (FC Twente, Netherlands).
Hoping to improve their ratings on the monthly FIFA rankings, Super Eagles will take on the Elephants on October 9 and four days later will engage the Carthage Eagles, who are second in Africa in the rankings.
Both games have been arranged by the Nigeria Football Federation to prepare the Eagles for the next rounds of 2022 AFCON qualifiers, home and away against Sierra Leone in November.