Leon Balogun has joined the Super Eagles walking wounded and was unavailable for selection when Mainz 05 faced off with Augsburg at the WWK Arena yesterday in a Bundesliga tie, reports allnigeriasoccer.com.
This will certainly be bad news for Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr as he is also sweating on the fitness of three players he is planning to name in his provisional World Cup squad, Tyronne Ebuehi, Joel Obi and Eddy Onazi, who only returned to training few days ago after suffering a hamstring-related injury versus Kayserispor on April 7.
Medical tests carried out by Mainz doctors before the match against Augsburg revealed that Balogun has suffered a rib injury and it remains unclear how long the defender will spend in the treatment room.
The central defender’s injury problems have refused to go away, coupled with his current contract situation which have limited his appearances to just 15 games from a possible 35 so far this season.
It would be recalled that he was withdrawn from the starting lineup in the Super Eagles pre-World Cup friendly against Serbia on March 27 as a precaution due to illness.
On his debut for the national team against Mexico in March 2014, the former Fortuna Dusseldorf center back suffered a serious injury which ruled him out of the World Cup in Brazil.
Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr and fans of the national team will be worried after Torino provided an update on the condition of midfielder Joel Obi.The 26-year-old had to go off 28 minutes after coming off the bench against AC Milan on April 18 after picking up an injury, few days after he was involved in a serious car crash.
Rohr has just over three weeks left before announcing Nigeria’s 35-man provisional World Cup roster and the former Inter Milan whizkid was a top candidate to make the squad list, assuming he was in tip-top condition.
At the weekend, Torino reported via their official website that Joel Obi did not participate in their penultimate workout before the trip to Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia (Bergamo), where the Maroons face Atalanta on game week 34 in the Serie A.
And they added that the instrumental examinations to which the midfielder was submitted showed a small stretch to the left thigh muscle and he’ll spend 7-10 days on the sidelines before further checks, which will determine the recovery time for his new injury. Obi was left out of Nigeria’s 2014 World Cup squad list by late Stephen Keshi after the midfielder was unable to prove his fitness during the Super Eagles training camp.