Reports say Leicester City striker, Kelechi Iheanacho, has been placed on standby after Bordeaux forward, Kalu Uche, collapsed during the Super Eagles training on Friday in Alexandria, Egypt.
Iheanacho was dropped from Gernot Rohr’s squad to the 2019 AFCON after a poor season with the Foxes but is now seen as a first choice replacement for the enterprising Kalu.
Sports Extra reported that the Bordeaux of France star collapsed in the team’s final training on Friday ahead of their opening 1-0 win against the Swallows of Burundi on Saturday.
However, a doctor of sports medicine in Nigeria, Bukky Bojuwoye, says there’s no cause for alarm over the winger’s collapse on Friday in Alexandria.
Reacting to the incident, Dr Bojuwoye said dehydration could cause a lot of imbalances in the human body, which could include collapse, heart attack and in some cases death.
“It depends on the level of dehydration, and for someone coming from that temperature (France) to the temperature of Egypt right now, Kalu is bound to have a lot of dehydration due to lots of sweat and low intake of fluids because his body might not have really adapted well to the weather.”
He stressed that Kalu could be back to playing at the AFCON if given enough fluids.
“If Kalu is well hydrated, he will be back early enough to play Nigeria’s next set of games.”
Meanwhile, the Egyptian FA in an official correspondence have confirmed that the Bordeaux star suffered dehydration and not a case of heart attack, adding that the 21-year-old was doing well.
“The health situation of Nigeria’s player Samuel Kalu is stable after undergoing the necessary medical tests following his fall during his team’s training due to a heart muscle failure,” the Egyptian FA wrote in a statement.
“Kalu suffered from dehydration after losing a large quantity of fluids.”
It’s the first time the tournament is being played across June and July, with temperatures in Egypt expected to hover between 35 and 38 Celsius over the next month.
All matches will feature three-minute heat breaks, taken in the 30th and 70th minute, due to the extreme heat with water and cold towels provided for players and officials