Racing Paul Ebere Onuachu of Genk, Belgium, has been ruled out of next month’s Africa Cup of Nations after suffering two injuries in a single match.
It happened on Sunday, when Genk faced Royal Antwerp in the Belgium Jupiler League, but Onuachu tried to play through the pain after suffering a minor knock, only to suffer a more serious ailment.
Bernd Storck, Genk’s coach, revealed that the former Young Stars of Lagos, FC Ebedei of Shagamu, and FC Midtjylland of Denmark giant could take up to four weeks to recover.
That diagnosis has now cast doubt on Onuachu’s availability for the Super Eagles’ appearance at AFCON 2022 in Cameroon, which would be a huge blow for the three-time African champions, as he is Nigeria’s top scorer this season with 12 goals.
Onuachu’s injury occurred after he scored his team’s lone goal in their 1-1 draw with Antwerp on Sunday, but he suffered a muscle tear, then injured his hamstring and had to make way for fellow-Nigerian striker, Ike Ugbo, in the 71st minute.
Storck’s decision means Onuachu may not be able to return to action until at least January 9, just two days before the Eagles kick off their AFCON 2022 campaign against their main group rivals, Egypt.
“(Onuachu) will be unable to play for the next three, four weeks,” Storck told Sporza via voetbalnieuws. He had a muscle tear. I had a feeling I needed to replace him, but he said he could keep going. Then, during a spurt, he strained his hamstring.”