Leon Balogun’s injury woes linger, may miss 2023 AFCON qualifiers

Leon Balogun's injury woes linger, may miss AFCON qualifiers

These are not good times for Super Eagles defender, Leon Balogun, as he faces a race against time to be fit for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifying games in March.

The 34-year-old, who plays for Queens Park Rangers in the English Championship, has been out since November 8 after suffering an injury against Huddersfield.

According to reports, his three-month suspension might be prolonged well beyond March, when Nigeria plays Guinea-Bissau in a double-header AFCON qualifier.

Leon Balogun has not been on a football field since appearing for 45 minutes in QPR’s 1-2 home defeat to Huddersfield on November 8.

QPR head coach Neil Critchley reportedly said the Nigerian defender is still “a few weeks” from returning to action, which puts his estimated recovery date past March.

The defender had just recently joined QPR as a free agent last summer and had already made an impression with a goal in 11 outings prior to his injury.

Due to physical troubles, Balogun has fallen out of favour at the international level, with Super Eagles coach Jose Peseiro benching him in the last two games.

And it’s unlikely that Balogun will be included when Nigeria plays Guinea Bissau in back-to-back matches in Abuja on March 20 and Bissau on March 27.

His QPR contract will expire at the end of the season and there are already reports that the club will let him leave despite his impressive performances because of his poor injury record.

Leon Balogun on duty for QPR