The Super Eagles’ technical crew has expressed concern over the fitness issues troubling Jamiu Collins and Shehu Abdullahi at the Africa Cup of Nations, as both players are credible options for the team’s full back positions, down the left and right sides respectively.
With Abdullahi knocked out of Nigeria’s first game at Egypt 2019, after barely 40 minutes against Burundi on Saturday, and Collins had to be yanked off the starting list at short notice, the situation has left Gernot Rohr and his assistants in dire straits.
This much was admitted by Rohr himself, and megasportsarena.com can report that the Franco-German gaffer acknowledged he now has limited options in his full back positions.
A thigh injury again kept SC Paderborn of Germany left-back, Collins out of the Eagles’ second Group B clash against Guinea on Wednesday, after he and Bursaspor of Turkey’s Abdullahi trained apart from the squad in Tuesday’s single training session in Alexandria, Egypt.
Abdullahi and Collins were both put through a special recovery drill by the Eagles physiotherapist, and Rohr said he hopes both defenders will be fit enough for the final group game against Madagascar on Sunday.
The former Gabon, Burkina Faso and Niger Republic handler, however, admitted that the chances of Abdullahi playing against Madagascar are slim, but said Collins has a fair opportunity of making it.
Rohr opened up at length, saying: ”The injury of Jamilu Collins came only the day before the match in the last training session.
“Three weeks of preparations he was not injured. He was one of the fittest players, his club has been promoted to the Bundesliga.
“So, there was no reason not to play him, it was a little accident in the last training session.
”His injury is not a great one so it’s only a few days but he’s too early for this match, he cannot play in this match.
“I hope to have him for the match on Sunday, the third match against Madagascar.
”Shehu is a little bit longer; because his injury is not the same, I think he won’t be available on Sunday.”