Nuno: No return date for injured AFCON trio

Nuno: No return date for injured AFCON trio
Nottingham Forest manager Nuno Espirito Santo before the Premier League match at the City Ground, Nottingham. Picture date: Saturday February 17, 2024.

by Thando Mpembe

Saturday Feb 24, 2024. 13:35

Nottingham Forest manager Nuno Espirito Santo has admitted it is ‘bad” that Ola Aina, Willy Boly and Ibrahim Sangare all returned from the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations with injuries.

Aina featured for Nigeria in the final against Ivory Coast and played the entire 90 minutes despite carrying an injury he picked up in the shootout victory over South Africa in the semi-finals.

Boly sat out the 2-1 win over the Super Eagles and only made four appearances for the hosts in the tournament, while Elephants team-mate Sangare was brought on for the final two minutes of the final, having also struggled with his fitness.

Santo revealed that the trio will miss the trip to Aston Villa on Saturday and had no idea when they would return to action for the Tricky Trees.

“So we had some problems. The three players that returned are not available, all of them came [back] with injuries – Ola, Willy and Ibrahim – so they will not be available for this match and we don’t have a date for their return,” the Portuguese tactician said in his pre-match press conference.

“Ola got injured in the semi-final, he played the final already with an injury, he tried. Willy didn’t play the final, he got a problem and Ibrahim the same, he was struggling since he was there in the AFCON. So the three of them are not available unfortunately for us, it’s bad.”

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