‘I am also confused’ – Jose Peseiro puzzled by Umar Sadiq’s mystery injury

‘I am also confused’ – Jose Peseiro puzzled by Umar Sadiq’s mystery injury

Real Sociedad striker Umar Sadiq has set tongues wagging in the Nigerian camp after surprisingly featuring for his club on Wednesday night despite withdrawing from the AFCON squad due to injury.

Sadiq was selected for the tournament currently underway in Cote d’Ivoire, but pulled out to return to Spain for rehabilitation with The Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro informed he would not recover in time to represent the country.

News that the 26-year-old was now fit to play puzzled the coach.

READ: Egypt tactics against Ghana? More aggression says coach Rui Vitoria

"I am confused, I saw the reports from the medical tests that he's injured and he cannot recover in 15 days at least or more time. No one said to me he can recover in five days, no, 10 [days], I don't know, 15, I don't know, one month, I don't know, two months, I don't know, the report went to club and club said he must come for recovery,"  Peseiro said.

Sadiq was officially taken off the roster 24 hours before Nigeria faced Equatorial Guinea in their opening game as per CAF rules.

He made his comeback as a late second half substitute for Sociedad in the Copa del Rey in a 2-0 win over Osasuna.

"We did a meeting with the player and our staff, the player wanted to stay, like me, he wanted to stay of course but in the last day, it was the 13th [of January], last day to replace the players, we decided to replace him. I'm happy because he'll recover well, I'm sad because he's not here to help us," Peseiro added.

Peseiro now has to quickly switch his focus to facing hosts Cote d’Ivoire tonight hoping those who remain committed to playing for Nigeria can help the side register a crucial win in Group A.

Nigeria have been heavily criticised for being held to a 1-1 draw by minnows Equatorial Guinea, and Peseiro has been putting out fires.  

"I think everybody could see how our team was much better than Guinea and I think we created many opportunities. I think we controlled the match well. We managed the ball, we controlled the game, we can improve our finishing, our decision, our focus, sometimes we must just calm down."