Eagles coach Stephen Keshi has insisted on taking a half-fit Gabriel Reuben to the AFCON, officials have specially informed MTNFootball.com
The Kano Pillars defensive midfielder has not fully recovered from a long-term groin injury contrary to official statements.
His recovery was also slowed down when he went down to chicken pox before the warm-up game against Catalonia in Spain.
“There was a big meeting over Reuben for the Nations Cup because he has not fully recovered from his groin injury,” a top official told MTNFootball.com
“Right now he cannot deliver long passes because of the injury, he can only make short passes. But Keshi has insisted he is too crucial in his plans to be left out.
“The player also lost about four days of training after he suffered chicken pox and so was quarantined and did not travel with the rest of the squad to Spain for the match against Catalonia.”
MTNFootball.com further learnt Keshi plans a defensive midfield combination of Chelsea midfielder Mikel Obi and Reuben in South Africa.
“As the situation is now, Mikel will now be the one supplying the long balls, while Reuben will keep to short passes so as to avoid a relapse of his groin problem,” another official informed.
Reuben only played his first match on Saturday against modest Dutch club Sparta Rotterdam as a second-half substitute since the Eagles began a training camp in Portugal at the end of last year.