Onazi Undergoes Successful Surgery for Ruptured Achilles

Ogenyi Onazi

*May miss AFCON 2019 due to lengthy sideline

Duro Ikhazuagbe

Super Eagles combative midfielder, Ogenyi Onazi, who ruptured his Achilles in his club, Trabzonspor’s 4-1 win at home to Rizespor last Sunday

has undergone a successful surgery in Istanbul, Turkey.

Trabzonspor posted the good news of the successful surgery of their prized player on the club’s website yesterday.

Although the club doctor, Yasar Kibar Guven, who was with the Nigerian at the hospital confirmed that the operation was a huge success, did not specify when the former Lazio player will return to action

Onazi was stretchered off in the 32nd minute and was speculated to face a lengthy spell on the sidelines which may force him to miss Nigeria’s last AFCON 2019 clash with Seychelles.

The 25-year old who started 16 out of 17 Super Lig games played by Trabzonspor in the first half of the season and scored twice has been a key part of Karadeniz Fırtınası’s good run which ensured they finished second on the log at the end of 2018.

Trabzonspor club President, Ahmet Adouglou was the first to confirm the player’s injury on Sunday also visited Onazi at the hospital after the surgery.

Onazi started his professional career in Italy with Lazio, winning the 2013 Italian Cup, before switching to Turkish side Trabzonspor in August 2016.

He played for Nigeria at the 2009 Under-17 World Cup on home soil and has scored once since making his senior debut against Liberia in October 2012.

Onazi, who has 51 international caps, helped Nigeria win the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, and played in all four of his country’s games at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Just recently, Onazi restated his commitment to the Nigerian senior national team after he was overlooked in Super Eagles last three matches of the AFCON 2019 qualifiers due to injuries.

His performance in his last appearance away to Seychelles after the World Cup raised question marks over his form and fitness, but the midfielder insists he is back to his best form at Trabzonspor.

“It was a tough time I must admit, but despite all the criticisms I remain committed to playing for my country,” Onazi told BBC Sport.

“Whenever I go out there to play I give 120%, but unfortunately my achilles tendon problems slowed me down. Now things are looking up again for me at club level, I hope to keep giving my best to my country as well.”

Unfortunately, the Achilles tendon problems that kept him outside the Nigeria resurfaced Sunday to now caste doubts over whether he may be able to recover on time for the African football showpiece next summer.