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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 February, 2005, 16:13 GMT
Narrow escape for Tizie
Amr Shaheen
BBC Sport, North Africa

I thought that I will die
Ivory Coast goalkeeper Jean-Jacques Tizie

Ivory Coast goalkeeper Jean-Jacques Tizie suffered an horrific injury while playing for Esperance in the Tunisian league.

Tizie lost a testicle after a collision with Etoile Sahel's Nigerian striker Ogochukwu Obiakor in Sunday's goalless draw.

Obiakor's knee injury will keep him out of action for a minimum of six months.

"I'm gutted about losing such an important player at this stage of the season," said Etoile manager Ammar Souayah.

Tizie, who spent two days in intensive care, admitted he is fortunate to be alive.

"It is a miracle. I thought that I will die," he said on Wednesday.

Both players were rushed to the Sahloul hospital in Sousse after the first-half incident, where doctors performed emergency procedures on the pair.

Ogochukwu Obiakor
Obiakor's knee injury will keep him out for a minimum of six months

Tizie had two operations, while Obiakor is expected to undergo subsequent procedures to aid his recovery.

Esperance officials said they are happy with the progress Tizie is making.

"He is much better now, especially after the doctors confirmed that the surgery will not affect his reproductive system," said club spokesman Ammer El Bahary.

However, the Ivorian goalkeeper is not expected to resume training for three weeks, which means he will be unavailable for his country's 2006 World Cup qualifier against Benin in March.

Etoile are the leaders in the Tunisian championship with 42 points, while Esperance are in fourth place with 37 points.

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