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Injury blow for Nigeria as Taiwo Awoniyi could miss 2023 Africa Cup of Nations

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By: Monsurah Olatunji

Nigeria will likely be without Taiwo Awoniyi for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) after Steve Cooper confirmed that the striker will spend months on the sidelines through injury.
The Nigerian international who has scored four goals in 11 appearances for Forest this season played for the Super Eagles in their 1-1 draw against Lesotho before withdrawing due to injury.
It is unknown exactly when the 26-year-old will return, but with the AFCON tournament kicking off in January, he is unlikely to make a recovery in time as Cooper revealed the extent of Awoniyi’s injury ahead of Nottingham Forest’s Premier League encounter against Brighton.
“It’s bad news on Taiwo, he’s had to have surgery and he is going to be out for months,” Nottingham Forest manager told media.
“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.
“We’ve got to support him through the process of coming back stronger. He’s done that once before here and I’m sure he will give everything again like he did last time.
“You think about how well he did when he returned last season, I’m sure that’s given him a good reference point to come back to. We’ll definitely see him again this season, but it’s groin surgery so it will take a little while.”

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