Cameroon captain Vincent Aboubakar injured on eve of AFCON



Cameroon are optimistic that captain Vincent Aboubakar will still be able to compete in the Africa Cup of Nations despite sustaining an injury in training on the eve of the competition, team officials have confirmed.

The 31-year-old Besiktas striker injured his thigh on Friday, and promptly received treatment at a hospital in Yamoussoukro, where he was diagnosed with a muscle tear.

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"During the Indomitable Lions' training session in Yamoussoukro on Jan. 12, national team captain Vincent Aboubakar had to stop the training session when he felt a pain in his left thigh," Cameroon physician Dr Patrick Fotso Gwabap said.

"The player was immediately taken under care by the medical team.

"He undertook an MRI [Magnetic Resonance Imaging scan] on Jan. 13 at the Catholic Hospital of Saint Joseph Moscati in Yamoussoukro, where he was revealed to have a light Grade 1 musculoaponeurotic detachment.

"This minor injury should not result in unavailability that would prevent the player from taking part in the competition."

Vincent Aboubakar is expected to still play for Cameroon at AFCON. Photo by Tnani Badreddine/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Aboubakar, who claimed the competition's Golden Boot in 2022 on home soil with eight goals, is set to compete in his fourth AFCON tournament.

He was a Nations Cup winner with Cameroon in 2017, scoring an 88th-minute winner in the final as the Central Africans defeated Egypt 2-1 in Libreville to clinch their fifth title.

"Aboubakar will continue his preparation under the surveillance of the medical team, and this outcome bodes well for a return to the group in the near future," Dr Patrick Fotso Gwabap said.

"The Indomitable Lions captain -- and most experienced player -- is maintaining the positive morale and combative spirit which characterise him, and he's set to rigorously follow the health protocols put in place in order to ensure his return to the AFCON, alongside his teammates, as quickly as possible."

Aboubakar, who led the line in Cameroon's final pre-tournament friendly against Zambiaon Tuesday, now appears a doubt for the Lions' opener against Guinea, and may be targeting a return when Rigobert Song's side face holders Senegal on Friday.

The Lions conclude their Group C campaign against The Gambia on Jan. 23.

Song may now turn to Karl Toko Ekambi or Frank Magri to replace Aboubakar, who scored Cameroon's winner as they defeated Brazil at the Qatar World Cup in 2022.

Keywords: AFCON Ivory Coast Vincent Aboubakar

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