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Page last updated at 13:16 GMT, Monday, 14 September 2009 14:16 UK

Nigeria rocked by Uche injury

By Oluwashina Okeleji
BBC Sport, Lagos

Nigeria and Zaragoza striker Ikechukwu Uche
Injury means Ikechukwu Uche will miss Nigeria's final two 2010 qualifiers

Nigeria striker Ikechukwu Uche will miss the Super Eagles last two 2010 World Cup qualifiers with an injury.

The 25-year-old is set to miss at least five months after damaging his knee in Real Zaragoza's 4-1 loss to Sevilla in the Spanish league on Saturday.

A scan has shown that Uche has damaged the lateral and anterior cruciate ligaments of his left knee.

"It's a terrible setback for me as it turned out to be worse than earlier thought," he told BBC Sport.

"I should be undergoing an operation in the next couple of days and the doctor said I could be out for at least five months.

"There's a chance that I could be back earlier but it's very remote."

It means the striker will miss the Super Eagles' last two 2010 World Cup qualifiers against Mozambique in October and then Kenya a month later.

Uche is Nigeria's top scorer so far in the 2010 qualifiers with four goals and his absence will come as a huge blow for the country, as they face a daunting task of qualifying for South Africa 2010.

Nigeria are currently second in Group B with seven points, two points behind leaders Tunisia.

Uche signed a four-year contract with Zaragoza in July after leaving rivals Getafe.

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see also
Uche completes Zaragoza switch
22 Jul 09 |  African
Nigeria drop Aiyegbeni, Martins
21 Aug 09 |  African
Nigeria bounce back to beat France
02 Jun 09 |  African
Ghana qualify for 2010 World Cup
06 Sep 09 |  African

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