Finidi to miss vital month
PUBLISHED: 12:17 11 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:31 03 March 2010
FINIDI George has shrugged off a thigh strain and will be available for Ipswich Town's return to European football on Thursday night - but he will be ruled out of contention for up to five weeks early next year.
FINIDI George has shrugged off a thigh strain and will be available for Ipswich Town's return to European football on Thursday night – but he will be ruled out of contention for up to five weeks early next year.
George, who took a slight knock in the draw at Leicester on Saturday, will be on duty for Nigeria, and could miss up to nine Town games.
The striker who cost £3.1 million from Real Mallorca during the summer, will be involved in the African Nations Cup, which starts in Mali on Saturday January 19.
The squad could report up to a fortnight before the tournament starts and if Nigeria are successful, as they are expected to be, the
30-year-old may not return until after the final on February 10.
Town manager George Burley said: "It is something we just have to accept. We knew he would be involved with Nigeria's international matches before we signed him."
Nigeria are in Group A, along with hosts Mali, Liberia and Algeria, in the 16-team competition.
This means George, who has already helped his country qualify for next summer's world cup finals in Korea/Japan, will miss Town's home Premiership games with Spurs, Fulham and Liverpool, and the away matches at Derby, Fulham and Everton.
There are also both legs of the Worthington Cup semi-finals in that period and the FA Cup fourth round.
George has won 48 caps for his country and scored six goals in a career that has seen him play in three previous African Nations Cup tournaments, including the winning side in 1994.