BREAKING: Nigeria’s Taiwo Awoniyi sustains groin injury, rules out of AFCON 2023

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Nigerian international striker Taiwo Awoniyi has been ruled out of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) with a groin injury.

Awoniyi sustained a groin injury during Nigeria’s 1-1 draw against Lesotho in a Group C qualifier for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

The 26-year-old was replaced by Terem Moffi in the 59th minute of the encounter.

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The striker missed the Super Eagles next game against Zimbabwe after returning to his club for assessment on the injury.

“It’s bad news on Taiwo, he’s had to have surgery and he is going to be out for months,” Forest boss, Steve Cooper told a press conference on Thursday.

“We’ll support him and try to get him back as quick and as fit as he can be, but it’s a really unfortunate situation and a blow for him.

“He’s become an important player for us with the goals he’s scored and the goals he will score for us, but he’s such a good guy and a good professional who is desperate to do well, so to get an injury like this is harsh on him.”

Awoniyi has scored four goals in 11 games for the Tricky Trees this season.

Awoniyi’s injury is a major blow to Nigeria’s hopes of winning AFCON 2023. However, the Super Eagles still have a talented squad that is capable of achieving success in the tournament.

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