Nigeria have confirmed that defender Elderson Echiejile will miss the World Cup. The 26-year-old picked up an injury in Nigeria’s goalless draw with Greece on Tuesday, and was forced off before the interval.
Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi said: “Doctors have said Echiejile will need up to three weeks to recover from the muscle tear but we don’t have that type of time to play with so we’ve taken the decision to replace him.”
Elderson will be replaced by winger Ejike Uzoenyi, who plays for domestic side Enugu Rangers. Uzoenyi was on Keshi’s preliminary roster, but cut from the 23-man squad.
Nigeria did receive some good news, however. Kenneth Omeruo, who picked up an ankle injury in a collision with a teammate at a training session last week, sat out the 2-1 loss to the United States on Saturday. However, he will be fit for the first match of the group stages.
The Super Eagles face Iran in Curitiba on Monday, June 16. Their other opponents in Group F are Argentina and Bosnia and Herzegovina – not an easy group to emerge from, and one Nigeria certainly would’ve liked to be at optimal health for.