By John Egbokhan
Real Zaragoza’s Nigerian striker Ikechukwu Uche, who failed to sparkle and crackle in the recent 2010 World Cup qualifier against Tunisia, is set to undergo an urgent surgery to fix a ruptured ligament in his left knee that could keep him out of action for the rest of the season.

Uche will miss the Eagles last two 2010 World Cup qualifiers with an injury.The 25-year-old suffered the injury during the team’s 4-1 defeat to Sevilla in a Spanish league match on Saturday, the club said in a brief statement, yesterday.

According to the club’s website, a scan of Uche’s knee revealed that an operation would be requited and that it will hold in “the coming days”.

Spanish media said he would now be unavailable for the rest of the season, a development that would surely ruffle the feathers of coach Shuaibu Amodu, who is in desperate need of fit and able strikers as the Eagles go for outright victories in their remaining World Cup qualifiers.

Uche, who has been the preferred top striker for Amodu, failed to find his range during the September 6 clash with Tunisia’s Carthage Eagles at the Abuja National stadium.

His poor form, to some extent, accounted for Nigeria’s inability to rattle Tunisia and news that he would be out for the rest of the 2009-2010 season, would increase the pressure on Amodu as Nigeria attempt to perform an herculean task of toppling the north Africans from the top of the table.

The Nigerian international was signed from Getafe in July for a reported fee of around five million euros. He played a peripheral part in Nigeria’s 2-2 draw with Tunisia

The outcome of the match has dimmed Nigeria’s chances of qualifying for the tournament set to hold for the first time on an African soil.
Tunisia are still topping the table with eights points, two more than the Nigerians, who like the north Africans have two matches left to play, with the former, looking increasingly more likely to progress to the finals Zaragoza would also miss him as he was bought from Getafe, to shore up the attack of the La Liga outfit.

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