Sports

March 15, 2024

Boniface ‘close’ to return, says Leverkusen coach Alonso

Boniface ‘close’ to return, says Leverkusen coach Alonso

Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso said Friday Nigeria striker Victor Boniface was “close to getting back on the pitch” and could return in March.

Boniface injured his adductor while preparing for the Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria in January and has been out since.

Originally scheduled to return sometime in April, Alonso said the 23-year-old could be fit for Leverkusen’s home clash with Hoffenheim on March 30.

“He’s not ready yet, but next week we have an international break and we’ll use the time to take a step forward with him.

“Maybe for Hoffenheim if everything goes well, but we’ll see.

“We need to have a bit more patience but he’s close to getting back on the pitch.”

Moving from Union Saint-Gilloise in the summer, Boniface has had an excellent start to life in Leverkusen, scoring 16 goals and laying on eight assists in 23 games in all competitions.

Boniface was called up to the Nigeria squad for the first time this season but missed the Super Eagles’ run to the final, where they lost to Ivory Coast.

Leverkusen are on track for a maiden German top-flight title, sitting 10 points clear of Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga with nine games remaining.

Alonso’s side on Thursday qualified for the quarter finals of the Europa League where they will face West Ham and have made it to the final four of the German Cup where they host second-division Fortuna Duesseldorf.