–Middlesbrough Says Eagles defender Aggravated groin problem in AFCON tie
Middlesbrough have blamed Kenneth Omeruo’s groin injury problem on his decision to play in Super Eagles 2-2 match with South Africa in the 2015 AFCON crucial qualifier in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
The Nigerian defender was already carrying a knock which would ordinarily have healed in three days time but had to aggravate it in the match.
The Nigerian is yet to kick a ball for his loan side Middlesborough for six weeks now, but played once for Nigeria in the ill-fated 2-2 draw with South Africa after sitting out the away game against Congo in Pointe Noire.
Omeruo trained once before the game and according to his club’s medics he aggravated his injury playing for Nigeria in the ill-fated clash with Bafana Bafana of South Africa.
“He picked up a groin strain injury which normally takes a week to heal, but he played three days later for his country and aggravated it,” Middlesborough manager Karanka said to the Evening Gazette.
“The injury made us keep him out of last game before the internationals, but it’s unfortunate he wanted to help his country so badly that he played and made matters worse.”
However, the manager is optimistic that the week rest he has enjoyed since Nigeria’s last qualifiers should see him make the matchday squad for this weekend game.
“He isn’t fit enough to start but hopefully should start on the bench pending on how he comes through today’s (Thursday’s) training,” he added.
Omeruo is Nigeria’s established first choice central defender alongside Godfrey Obaboana since the Afcon 2013 final group game against Ethiopia.
Obaboana was suspended for the South Africa game forcing manager Stephen Keshi to field an unfamiliar pair in Azubuike Egwuekwe and Kenneth Omeruo which backfired and cost Nigeria a place at next year’s Afcon.