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Freak injury rules striker out for a month and has ensured he will miss the start of the new season...

Mohun Bagan were left in a quandary after learning the true extent of captain Odafa Okolie’s injury.

In what may be termed as freakish, the Nigerian, who was in attendance for team practice at the Salt Lake stadium in Kolkata, attempted a shot at goal and almost immediately withered down in pain.

He was referred and attended to by Bagan conditioner John Corner and other medical staff, who suggested that the forward be subjected to an MRI scan. On completion of the scan, it was deduced that a tear in the quadriceps muscle in the leg was the root cause of the striker’s injury.

The diagnosis has revealed that the nature of the injury will rule Odafa out for at least a month. This means not only will he miss the opening bouts of the Calcutta Football League (CFL), he would also be sidelined for Bagan’s opening I-League fixtures.

It is learnt that Odafa, who has already missed three weeks of training after returning late from the break, wasn’t eligible for the CFL as his team hadn’t registered him for the tournament after missing the deadline for registration with the Indian Football Association (IFA).

“It’s really unfortunate that we won’t get the services of Odafa at the start of the season. Hope he recovers as soon as possible. What more can I say,” exclaimed a crestfallen Bagan coach, Karim Bencherifa, to The Telegraph, who hoped the forward would be back to his striking best once he returns.

Odafa has received sympathy from Tolgay Ozbey, a former teammate who joined Mohammedan Sporting. Ozbey had a similar injury during his stint at Bagan and had to report back to Australia for a surgery.

 

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