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5 Key players missing from Ghana’s 2023 AFCON squad due to injury

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As Ghana gear up for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), coach Chris Hughton faces the challenge of preparing his team without some crucial players who are sidelined due to injuries.

Despite some of these players being initially named in the provisional 55-man squad including Thomas Partey, Tariq Lamptey and Kamaldeen Sulemana, these key players will miss the tournament, leaving a notable gap in the Black Stars’ lineup.

Here are five players to miss the AFCON 2023 due to injury

Thomas Partey

The midfielder faced a spell on the sidelines since the October international break due to a muscle injury suffered before Arsenal’s Champions League clash against Sevilla. Originally anticipated to be out until the new year, Partey’s recovery exceeded expectations. After engaging in gym work and personal training in December, he transitioned to grass training last week. Despite resuming training after a two-month injury hiatus, he did not secure a place in the final squad.

Daniel Kofi-Kyereh

Unfortunate to grapple with an injury for nearly a year, Black Stars midfielder Daniel-Kofi Kyereh is yet to make an appearance for Freiburg this season. Despite positive updates on his recovery a few months ago, he was unable to fully recuperate in time. Kyereh, a pivotal player for Ghana in the last edition, will be sorely missed. He sustained an anterior cruciate ligament injury after the 2022 World Cup, leading to an extended 10-month period of sidelining.

Kamaldeen Sulemana

Southampton forward Kamaldeen Sulemana will be absent from the 2023 AFCON due to a lingering hamstring injury. Despite inclusion in the 55-man provisional list, Southampton manager Russel Martin revealed that Sulemana would not regain fitness in time for AFCON 2023. Hindered by injuries throughout the ongoing campaign, Sulemana managed only 13 appearances for the Saints in their bid for promotion.

Joseph Aidoo

Expected to be sidelined for six to seven months, Joseph Aidoo suffered an injury while on international duty in October. Celta Vigo confirmed the defender’s ruptured Achilles tendon, ruling him out for the season with a targeted return date in May 2024. Aidoo sustained the injury during Ghana’s friendly against Mexico, necessitating surgery after post-game assessments revealed the severity. The surgery was successful, but Aidoo faces an extensive recovery period, posing a significant setback for both the club and the country.

Tariq Lamptey

Lamptey faced another setback following his return from a prolonged lay-off. In the match against Brighton and Nottingham Forest, Lamptey, returning from injury, was substituted for Joao Pedro just after the hour mark due to discomfort. Scheduled for scans to assess the injury’s extent, the 23-year-old’s persistent injury woes present a considerable setback for both the Black Stars and Brighton as the season unfolds.

These notable absences pose challenges for Ghana’s campaign in Group B, where they are set to face Egypt, Cape Verde, and Mozambique. The void left by these injured players will test the team’s depth and resilience as they aim to make a significant impact in the prestigious tournament hosted by Ivory Coast between January 13 and February 11, 2024.

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