2018 world cup: Rohr hopes Ikeme will return for Russia

Carl Ikeme

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr is hopeful goalkeeper Carl Ikeme, who has been diagnosed with acute leukaemia, will return for next year’s World Cup in Russia.

“It’s unfortunate that Carl Ikeme will be sick for a long time, we miss him, but hopefully he will come back for the World Cup,” Rohr said on Wednesday.

“So, for the moment we will work with the other goalkeepers.”

The Wolverhampton Wanderers number one, who made his debut against Tanzania in 2015, played a key role in Nigeria’s 2-1 opening World Cup qualifier victory against Zambia in October last year.

But in June the 31-year-old was diagnosed with acute leukaemia and immediately began treatment.

Rohr said former national goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama will quit Lille when he has fully recovered from a knee injury.

Enyeama was Ikeme’s predecessor in the Super Eagles before he quit international football two years ago after a major falling out.

“He has to change clubs because his club has bought two new goalkeepers. It’s finished for him at Lille,” the Nigeria coach said.

“Unfortunately, he is injured, he has had operation for cruciate ligament, he will be out for another two, three months before he comes back to play.”

The Franco-German coach further said he will be happy to have the experienced Enyeama back in the Eagles.

“If he is fit again, the door (to my team) is open for him,” he said.

“We are in touch, we need the best players and the goalkeeper position is an important position,” he added.Punch

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