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Huge boost for Nigeria as Napoli’s Osimhen declares himself fit for 2021 Afcon

Napoli star Victor Osimhen has sought to dispel any concerns over his fitness ahead of Nigeria’s participation at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, claiming he is 100% fit.

In a post on social media, the former Wolfsburg and Lille star confirmed his availability for the biennial African football showpiece.

“I will be available for Afcon at 100% unless I am not among the players picked to represent Nigeria,” the 22-year-old wrote on  Twitter.

Osimhen was injured during the Parthenopeans’ 3-2 Serie A defeat against Inter Milan on November 23, 2021 at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.

Following a clash of heads with defender Milan Skriniar, he could not complete the game and was replaced by Andrea Petagna four minutes before the hour mark.

Subsequently, he underwent surgery and the Italian outfit confirmed he would be out for at least three months.

“Victor Osimhen was operated on his cheekbone and eye socket by Gianpaolo Tartaro, who was assisted by Dr Mario Santagata with Dr Raffaele Canonico also present,” a statement from Napoli read.

“Titanium plates and screws were used in the operation. The player is doing well and will remain under observation for the next few days.

“Osimhen is expected to return to action in three months.”

Nonetheless, he returned to the squad with just 16 days on the sidelines ahead of a crucial Europa League clash with Leicester City.

On Tuesday, he continued training with a custom carbon mask to protect his face and he could be available for action when Luciano Spalletti’s men square up against Spezia at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

The Lagos-born striker played a key role in Nigeria’s qualification for Afcon as well as the 2022 Fifa World Cup play-offs.

Aside from his exploits in Italy, he has scored nine goals in his last 10 matches for the three-time African Champions in all competitions.

This development will come as a relief for coach Augustine Eguavoen who is still rocked after Belgian league star Paul Onuachu may not be participating at Afcon due to injury.

Three-time African champions Nigeria are zoned in Group D alongside Egypt, Sudan and Guinea Bissau. They commence their campaign against the Pharaohs on January 11 in Garoua.

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