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After leaving Nigeria camp due to injury, Umar Sadiq already on the pitch again for Real Sociedad

Today (January 18, 2024) at 5 pm, Nigeria will face hosts Ivory Coast in the second Group A match at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium.

Umar Sadiq Real Sociedad

This matchup will, however, take place without striker Umar Sadiq. The 26-year-old had already left the squad before the first group game against Equatorial Guinea last Sunday due to injury.

Sadiq was ruled out by the medical team for over 15 days after suffering an injury in a test match against Guinea.

To everyone's surprise, though, Sadiq was back on the pitch yesterday evening for his club Real Sociedad in the Copa del Rey match. He got on in the 73rd minute and played until the end.

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Why exactly Sadiq is already back on the pitch is currently a mystery. Rumours were already doing the rounds on Wednesday, even before Sadiq was back in action for his club.

"I'm also confused," Peseiro told reporters on Wednesday when they asked how the 26-year-old had already recovered from a knee injury that he believed would make it impossible for him to take part in the AFCON.

"I received a report from the medical team that he is injured and will not be able to recover in at least 15 days. The report went to the club, and the club said he had to return to recover - they even said there was a possibility he would need surgery," added the Portuguese.

"We had a meeting with our staff, and the player wanted to stay, just like me, but on the last day that we could replace a player, we decided to replace him."

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For this reason, Sadiq has then been replaced by Trabzonspor striker Paul Onuachu, who was already substituted on Sunday.

"I am happy that he has recovered well, but I am sad that he is not here to help us," Peseiro added.

It is currently not known exactly where the fault for this obvious misunderstanding lies. There was allegedly no pressure from the club itself to send the player back.

Real Sociedad coach Imanol Alguacil said this week that it was the Nigerian Football Federation's (NFF) decision to send the player back to his club.

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