Osimhen makes quick come back for Napoli after 'biological miracle'

The Napoli team doctor expected Osimhen to be out for up to 16 weeks but he has returned after just 8 weeks

Victor Osimhen.

Super Eagles forward Victor Osimhen has made a return to football as the 23-year-old featured for Napoli on Monday evening in their Serie A fixture against Bologna.

Spotting his surgical face shield, the Nigerian striker was a 71st-minute substitute for the Neapolitans away at the Renato Dell'Ara Stadium.

This was the first time Osimhen would play for the Serie A side since sustaining fractured cheekbones on November 11, 2021, against Inter Milan.

Since then, the Napoli striker has been at the centre of a furore between his club and the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) over his availability for the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroon.

Osimhen had remarkably recovered from his facial surgery in mid-December after initial reports that he would be out for between 12 - 16 weeks.

The Napoli team doctor Professor Gianpaolo Tartaro had said in late December that Osimhen would need another sixty or ninety days to fully recover.

“For the formation of the callus bone, according to world protocols, it takes from sixty to ninety days. Unless a biological miracle,” the plastic surgeon told Corriere Dello Sport, as per Tutto Napoli.

“If he does not do the CT scan, we will not be able to dissolve the prognosis. Reduced fractures must consolidate: I repeat, for the formation of the callus, you have to wait two or three months unless a Christmas biological miracle: but biology is not a fan.”

After declaring himself fit for the forthcoming tournament, the 23-year-old unfortunately returned a positive Covid-19 test a few days before teaming up with the Super Eagles in Abuja, effectively ruling him out of the tournament.

In Osimhen's absence, the Super Eagles of Nigeria have made an impressive start to AFCON 2021, winning their first two games against Egypt and Sudan in Group D to safely qualify for the round of 16.

The former Lille striker returns in time to help the Luciano Spaletti-led side in their Serie A title bid, having fallen to third place on the log since Osimhen's injury layoff.

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