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Nigeria international Taiwo Awoniyi is doubtful for the Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON 2023 Tournament due to injury.

Awoniyi who plies his trade with English Premier League side, Nottingham Forest picked up a groin injury while playing for his club in October but showed signs of fitness before joining the Super Eagles in the World Cup qualifiers.

The 26 year old was substituted with an hour played in the 1-1 draw against Lesotho in a World Cup as a result of the injury.

In a press conference Thursday before the weekend Premier League fixture against Brighton and Hove Albion, Nottingham Forest manager, Steve Cooper gave an indication the injury has worsened during the international duty for Nigeria.

‘’it’s bad news on Taiwo, he’s had to have surgery and he is going to be out for months, Steve Cooper said.

‘’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.

Cooper added. ‘’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.’’

Meanwhile, his injury is a big concern to the Super Eagles considering his top rating ahead of the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON 2023, in Cote d’Ivoire next year. Awoniyi had started match against Lesotho but had to return to England after picking injury during the World Cup qualifiers clash.

Awoniyi has been in top form for Nottingham Forest, scoring four goals in 11 appearances this season. His absence at the Africa Cup of Nations will be a major blow for the Super Eagles as the tournament starts from 13 January to 24 January 2024 in Cote d’Ivoire.

Nigeria is drawn in Group A of the 2023 AFCON alongside Guinea- Bissau, Equatorial Guinea and hosts country Cote d’Ivoire.

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