Wilfred Ndidi, the Super Eagles’ midfielder, is a major doubt for Nigeria’s opening 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying game against Sierra Leone because he will be recovering from a knee injury sustained in a UEFA Europa Conference League round of 16 second leg tie against Stade Rennais on March 17.
The midfielder was ruled out for the remainder of the season, which meant he would miss the Eagles’ Qatar 2022 World Cup play-offs against Ghana in March, as the team failed to qualify for the tournament for the first time in 16 years.
According to Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers, Ndidi will not be available for the Foxes’ final game of the season against Southampton on May 22, and the Nigerian will only return to training – not full fitness – on May 31.
The Eagles are in Group A along with Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau and Sao Tome and Principe or Mauritius with the first two teams in the group booking an automatic qualification for the AFCON.
With the Eagles set to play the Leone Stars in the first week of June, its most likely the mercurial midfielder would not have returned from injury.
The 25-year-old last featured for Nigeria in their AFCON 2021 round of 16 loss to Tunisia in January.