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Page last updated at 10:47 GMT, Wednesday, 13 October 2010 11:47 UK

Nigeria striker Chinedu Obasi nears return to action

By Oluwashina Okeleji
BBC Sport, Hoffenheim, Germany

Hoffenhein striker Chjinedu Obasi
Obasi played in Nigeria's three games at the World Cup in South Africa

Nigeria striker Chinedu Obasi is set to return to action in the German Bundesliga this weekend after four months out.

Obasi suffered a stress fracture on his shin but could make his comeback for Hoffenheim against Borussia Mönchengladbach on Sunday.

"I'm nearly there now and can't wait to get back into action this weekend," Obasi told BBC Sport after training.

"I have stepped up my work and have had been no bad reaction," he continued.

Obasi appeared in all of Nigeria's three group matches at the World Cup in South Africa but says he is disappointed that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have not shown any concern over his condition.

"I am not surprised but rather disappointed that there has not been one call from anyone in the NFF to ask how I am doing.

"Luckily for me, my club, teammates and family stood by me even though I got injured playing for Nigeria at the World Cup."

But the 24-year-old can take solace in the fact that fellow African striker Demba Ba is delighted to have him back in the fold.

"He [Obasi] brings a lot to the team and his return will be a great addition to the strike force," Senegalese Ba said.

"Everyone is happy for him and he has worked extremely hard to get here. We all work together as a team and we can only get better now.

Meanwhile, Obasi says the Super Eagles' recent slump in the 2012 Nations Cup qualifier against Guinea has not come as a shock.

Nigeria were beaten 1-0 away in Guinea just two days after Fifa lifted a suspension they had imposed on them.

Obasi told BBC Sport that the crisis-plagued football federation needs to put its house in order to salvage the Super Eagles.

"There are too many problems [in that place]; it is a structural problem and once the head is in trouble it trickles down to the bottom," the Hoffenheim striker said.

"It is surely not an excuse for us [the players] but a house in crisis will have a negative effect on its household.

"Once the NFF can sort itself, get a substantive coach who will put together a solid team then the players will have no reason or whatsoever not to deliver.

"We have coaches and players going in and out every three months, nothing is stable or concrete which is not good for progress or success."

Obasi is the only Nigerian to have appeared in all Fifa World Cups [Under 17, Under 20 and Senior] as well as Olympics games.



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see also
Obasi doubtful for Mozambique tie
10 Mar 09 |  African
Nigeria refuse request for Ogbuke
12 Aug 08 |  African
Ogbuke released for Olympics
20 Jul 08 |  African


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