Troost-Ekong Is Not Injured, Udinese Confirm

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epa07074608 Udinese's William Troost-Ekong (L) and Juventus' Mario Mandzukic in action during the Italian Serie A soccer match between Udinese Calcio and Juventus FC at the Friuli-Dacia Arena stadium in Udine, Italy, 06 October 2018. EPA-EFE/STEFANO LANCIA

Udinese of Italy have confirmed that their Nigerian defender, William Troost-Ekong is not injured, adding that he was only replaced in last weekend’s match due to tactical reasons, footballlive.ng reports.

In contrast with widespread reports in the Nigerian media, putting doubt on Troost-Ekong’s possible availability for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against South Africa, Udinese have officially revealed that the player is fit to play this weekend.

While affirming that Troost-Ekong is not suffering from any physical blight or setback, Udinese disclosed that the Super Eagles star has been involved in training with the squad since their resumed on Tuesday.

The Udine-based club further revealed on their official website that the former Tottenham Hotspur of England youth team player, who has also starred for FC Groningen of Holland, Haugesund of Norway, KAA Gent of Belgium and Bursaspor of Turkey, is fit like a fiddle.

The Serie A club, however, hinted that Troost-Ekong had to be replaced after only 35 minutes of last weekend’s fixture due to tactical reasons from their coach, Julio Velazquez.

Before then, Udinese had earlier disclosed barely 24 hours after their 3-0 home defeat by Napoli at Dacia Arena on Saturday evening that Troost-Ekong was among the players that participated in the recovery workout.

Troost-Ekong joined The Bianconeri for the session on Sunday morning; taking part in jogging and running exercises, but they all got Monday off and returned to the pitch on Tuesday for drills at 10:30am and 5pm.

The Holland-born defender, who made his ninth successive start in the Italian top-flight against Napoli, played his third match in seven days for club and country last weekend.

He will now hope that the lethargy of that long drive has warded off, as he aims for a better performance this weekend to lift up Udinese, who have lost their last four matches in Serie A and let in nine goals.

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