Napoli doctor Roberto Ruggiero has revealed why Napoli forward Victor Osimhen still plays using a protective mask, seven months after recovering from a head injury.
The 23-year-old Nigeria international had sustained an eye socket injury during a Serie A match against Inter Milan in November 22, 2021, in which they lost 3-2 at San Siro.
The injury forced the player to undergo surgery and he was sidelined for three months which saw him miss out on representing the Super Eagles at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
He returned to action on January 17, 2022, as Napoli battled to defeat Bologna 2-0 away. During the fixture, he came on in the 71st minute wearing a protective mask.
“Osimhen is perfectly healed, he’s still wearing the protective mask because it gives him a sense of security, but he’s healed,” Ruggiero told Radio Marte via Tutto Napoli.
“He has his own balance and wants to wear it. Hopefully this mask will be enough until he feels safe and takes it off. Not before then. I have still seen for a check, but as soon as he returns, we will have intense work to do.”
Despite the injury, Osimhen ended up making 27 appearances overall for Napoli in Serie A and accumulated 1,992 minutes of playing time. He was ranked joint eighth on the scorers charts with a total of 14 goals, as well as being the team’s top scorer in the league
He also provided two assists in the entire campaign. In the previous season, Osimhen, who signed for Napoli from Lille, made 24 Serie A appearances, scored 10 goals and provided three assists.
He will hope to lead the line when Napoli kick off their top-flight campaign with a trip to face Verona at Marcantonio Bentegodi on August 15.