Opoku: Ghana deliver injury update on Amiens defender ahead of Qatar friendly

Nicholas Opoku

Amiens defender Nicholas Opoku is racing against time to be fit for Ghana's international friendly tie against Qatar on Monday.

The centre-back's chances of taking to the pitch against the 2022 World Cup hosts have been hit by an injury picked up while in action in the Black Stars' 3-0 loss to Mali in a first test game on Friday.

He was substituted in the 67th minute, his place taken by Joseph Aidoo.

"Ghana defender Nicholas Opoku is not likely to feature in Monday’s game against Qatar after suffering a bruised muscle in his right leg in Friday’s 3-0 loss to Mali," the Ghana Football Association (GFA) has announced on its official website.

"Opoku hobbled off in the 79th minute after he went in for a tackle against Mali striker Coulibaly Lassana and was replaced by Joseph Aidoo.

"The medical team of the Black Stars led by Prof. Dr. Chris Adomako is currently working to get him back to full fitness.

"Ghana will on Monday play against Asian Champions Qatar in another friendly game at the Titanic sports complex in Antalya, Turkey."

Celta Vigo defender Aidoo, Hoffenheim man Kasim Adams Nuhu, France-born Alexander Djiku or Amiens team-mate Emmanuel Lomotey could slot into Opoku's position in CK Akonnor's starting XI against Qatar should the former Berekum Chelsea ace lose his fitness battle.

Looking to cement a regular place in the national set-up, the latest injury could become the 23-year-old's second major challenge to his international ambitions after he was forced to miss the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt last year due to injury.

He returned to the Black Stars for a double-header against South Africa and Sao Tome and Principe in November last year but watched both games from the bench.

Opoku's French club Amiens will be keeping an eye on his situation in the Ghana camp, the centre-back being a key member of their squad in their push for elite division promotion.

Signed on loan from Serie A outfit Udinese in August, he has featured in all league games played since his arrival at the second tier fold.

After the international break, Amiens face Grenoble in their next game, with hopes of having Opoku back in action.