By Tunde Oyedele, Abuja
Nigeria’s preparation for Sunday’s World Cup qualifying match against the Walya Antelopes of Ethiopia, suffered a minor setback on Thursday, as striker Brown Ideye limped out of the Abuja National Stadium with a thigh injury.
The day, Thursday, 10 October was Ideye’s birthday as he turned 25 and as early as 8am, some of his relatives were at the team’s camp with cakes for him to mark the day. But, the stocky forward, who was enjoying himself during the team’s evening training did not complete the session with his Super Eagles teammates.
Wearing a tight and disappointing face as he limped out of the pitch, Brown, eyeonthesports.com reports, held tight to his right thigh and murmured: “Oops! Oh! God!” Thus, his special day was marred by what he later described as a minor knock.
The medical personnel quickly attended to him and Chief Coach, Stephen Keshi advised him to relax and take things easy. “You have to take it easy okay, just go back to the hotel and relax your muscle, don’t think about it,” Keshi told him shortly after their training.
The striker said the injury was not that serious, that he pulled out of Thursday’s training to avoid aggravating it. “There is nothing to be afraid of, I only had muscle contraption but it’s not a tear. I’m okay and well”.
Ideye however told Eagles’ Media Officer, Ben Alaiya, that his birthday celebration will be sweeter if the Nigerian side triumphs by any margin in Ethiopia come Sunday, and promised that if given a shirt he will justify it by scoring.
Earlier at the team’s Bolton White Hotel in Abuja, Ideye’s teammates surprised the Dynamo of Ukraine striker during lunch, when they sang the happy birthday song for him, and bathed him with water, wishing him many happy returns. It was a surprise the striker said he least expected, as Keshi and other officials watched the hilarious scene.
Meanwhile, the Eagles are expected to depart for Ethiopia Friday night through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja via a chartered flight.