Gent striker Gift Orban suffers injury relapse ahead of Super Eagles squad announcement for WCQ 

Published: October 30, 2023
Gent striker Gift Orban suffers injury relapse ahead of Super Eagles squad announcement for WCQ 

KAA Gent striker Gift Orban has suffered an injury relapse ahead of the Super Eagles squad announcement for the 2026 World Cup qualifying matches against Lesotho and Zimbabwe.


Orban had climbed up the pecking order of potential invitees with forwards Victor Osimhen (Napoli) and Samuel Chukwueze (AC Milan) all but ruled out of the back-to-back games in November due to hamstring injuries. 


Three days after ending his goal drought in a Europa Conference League group match against Breidablik, Orban was a non-playing substitute as Gent defeated Standard Liege 3-1 in the Jupiler Pro League. 


Gent manager Hein Vanhaezebrouck has shed light on why Orban was an unused substitute against Standard Liege, saying the number 20 is struggling to overcome a groin problem, which makes him a doubt for Wednesday's Cup clash against Patro Eisden. 


Vanhaezebrouck is hoping the latest injury setback for Orban is not too serious. 


In quotes relayed by Flemish newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, he said: "Gift had a problem that had been going on for a while, but it was under control and we thought he was fit yesterday.


"During the warm-up he felt something again when he did a few sprints. Today he did some exercises and worked with the physiotherapists. We now have to wait and see."


Orban was handed a first-ever call-up to the Super Eagles for a 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against São Tomé and Príncipe but was not picked in the gameday squad after failing a fitness test. 


A dip in form, limited playing time and fitness issues cost him a place in the Super Eagles squad for the training camp in Portugal this month. 




Ifeanyi Emmanuel 



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