Nigeria’s midfielder, Oghenekaro Etebo, was conspicuously missing from Las Palmas’ lineup as they secured a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Deportivo La Coruna in Saturday’s LaLiga encounter, prompting speculation about his fitness ahead of the upcoming Super Eagles’ friendlies.
Etebo’s absence from the clash intensifies concerns about his readiness for the friendly matches against Poland and Serbia scheduled for 23rd and 27th March, respectively. The 23-year-old midfielder has been nursing a quadriceps injury sustained during the 2-0 defeat to Villarreal last weekend, leading to his substitution at halftime.
Notably, Etebo visited a specialist in Madrid last Wednesday to address the injury concern, sparking discussions about his availability for the crucial international fixtures. Since joining Las Palmas on a six-month loan from Portuguese club Feirense in January, Etebo has made seven appearances and contributed one assist to the team.
In Saturday’s encounter, Las Palmas took the lead with a swift third-minute strike from Alen Halilovic, only to have Deportivo La Coruna’s Raul Albentosa equalize in the 23rd minute. The absence of Etebo and the unused substitute role for compatriot Imoh Ezekiel marked a challenging outing for Las Palmas.
The draw leaves Las Palmas in the 18th position on the LaLiga table with 21 points from 29 games, while Deportivo La Coruna trails closely in 19th place with 20 points from an identical number of matches. As Etebo’s fitness remains a concern, Las Palmas will be eager for a swift recovery to bolster their squad in the remaining fixtures of the season.