AS Torino of Italy defender, Ola Aina and Girondins-Bordeaux of France winger, Samuel Kalu are in doubt to feature for the Super Eagles in this Saturday’s international friendly against Zimbabwe, as they are both facing fitness issues at the Nigerian camp in Asaba.
Aina and Kalu have faced various injury situations with their respective clubs this season, but it appears they are yet to fully recover to top level fitness, as they had to spend time with the Eagles’ physiotherapist, while the other players were involved in full training.
They are now in a race against time to not only prove themselves fit to battle The Warriors of Zimbabwe on Saturday at Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, but to also make Gernot Rohr’s final squad list to the Africa Cup of Nations, ahead of the deadline for submission this weekend.
Feelers from the Eagles’ camp indicate that Rohr will make his list public right after the game on Saturday, as the Franco-German gaffer wants top use it as a final analysis and checks on his permutations for the upcoming continental soccer showpiece in Egypt.
While Kalu suffered trauma with the kidnap of his mother, during which time he also missed almost a month of action with his club and was not available for the Eagles last two matches in Asaba, Aina struggled with injuries and equally missed five of the Eagles’ games.
Kalu managed to recover from a hamstring problem just before the Ligue 1 season ended, which earlier raised worries over his fitness level, such that Nigerians feel quite uneasy seeing him spend time with the Eagles’ physio, while Aina jogged with the team then stepped out for ball work.
However, Eagles’ media officer, Toyin Ibitoye stated in a message on Wednesday afternoon that there is nothing serious to worry about the physical condition of both players, but says Eagles’ coach, Gernot Rohr only wants to be careful in handling them.
Ibitoye stated: “Samuel Kalu and Ola Aina are just being well managed. They are good (and in sound physical condition with the Super Eagles).”