Christian Atsu of Ghana (l) challenged by Ambroise Oyongo of Cameroon during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals Afcon semifinal football match between Cameroon and Ghana at the Franceville Stadium in Gabon on 02 February 2017 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix
Friday Oct 06, 2017. 20:00
hristian Atsu pulled out of Ghana's 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Uganda at the Mandela National Stadium in Kampala this Saturday, following advice from his club team.
The 25-year-old has - according to The Chronicle Live - been playing through the pain barrier over the past couple of weeks, and in an attempt to recapture his best form, the Magpies suggested that he not travel to Uganda.
The news came as a major blow for Black Stars head coach Kwesi Appiah, who will miss several key players as the West Africans aim to keep their slim World Cup hopes alive.
Asamoah Gyan, Andre Ayew, Jordan Ayew, Thomas Agyepong, Harrison Afful and Johnathan Mensah will also play no part in Kampala.
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Atsu was key to Ghana thumping Congo 5-1 in Brazzaville last time out, and Appiah was hoping to count on the influential winger, only to be rocked by another withdrawal.
The former FC Porto man has started all put one of Newcastle's English Premier League games this season and played 90 minutes in a 1-1 draw against Liverpool last weekend.