Nigeria interim coach Augustine Eguavoen says Victor Osimhen had to take his health into consideration when making the decision to pull out of the impending Africa Cup of Nations.
The Napoli striker was initially ruled out of the AFCON after sustaining serious facial injuries in late November, though a quicker-than-expected recovery meant the player was back in consideration for the tournament in Cameroon.
However, last week Osimhen tested positive for Covid-19 and pulled out of AFCON participation, with Eguavoen explaining that he had sympathy for the difficult situation the striker found himself in.
“I tried for hours to convince him, but his health comes first, which is my concern.”
Eguavoen added, “When he spoke with me, he was disappointed, and he told me he was not OK. And did not want to go to the AFCON not fully 100 percent fit.
“I gave him a few hours and called him back to see whether he will change his mind, and he told me he will be going for evaluation on his face on January 4 and 5 before doctors can make a final decision.
“With that injury, you have to consider his health. It’s a tough one.”
Nigeria will open their AFCON campaign with a heavyweight clash against Egypt on Tuesday 11 January.