William Troost Ekong Ruled Out for Rest of Season After Playing AFCON 2023 With Injury

William Troost Ekong Ruled Out for Rest of Season After Playing AFCON 2023 With Injury

Martin Moses
updated at February 27, 2024 at 6:58 AM
In this article:
William Troost-Ekong logo
W. Troost-Ekong
PAOK Saloniki logoDNigeria logo
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
Nigeria logo
  • William Troost-Ekong will be forced to undergo surgery for an injury picked up at AFCON 2023
  • The Nigeria defender suffered a hamstring injury in the second game but played through the pain
  • He was declared the best Player of the tournament by CAF despite losing the final to Ivory Coast

Nigeria defender William Troost-Ekong has suffered a season-ending injury sustained during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.

Troost-Ekong captained the Super Eagles to a second-place finish after falling to the hosts in the final played on February 11.

William Troost-Ekong, PAOK, Ivory Coast, AFCON 2023
William Troost-Ekong celebrates after scoring against South Africa in the semifinals of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations. Photo by Issouf Sanogo.
Source: Getty Images

He fired his side in front in the game with a header from a corner kick before Simon Adingra provided two assists to turn the game around and win a third title for the Elephants.

Troost-Ekong's injury

It has now emerged that Ekong picked up a hamstring injury in the second group game against Ivory Coast but persevered through the pain to help Nigeria reach as far as possible. He scored a penalty in the 1-0 win over the hosts.

BBC Sports journalist Oluwashina Okeleji reports that the injury has since aggravated to a ruptured biceps femoris on his right leg, which could effectively end his season. The PAOK defender will travel to Finland for surgery before commencing rehabilitation.

Troost-Ekong: AFCON 2023 MVP

The 30-year-old was the standout performer in Ivory Coast despite losing in the final. CAF recognised his efforts by awarding him the Player of the Tournament, becoming the first defender to win the award since Cameroon's Rigobert Song in 2002.

His club, PAOK, are currently involved in a cut-throat competition for the Greek title. They sit second with 54 points, just one behind leader AEK with only two games remaining.

Players who won AFCON MVP despite losing final

Sports Brief has also previously reported that the nation that wins the coveted continental title does not necessarily produce the player of the tournament.

Ekong joined a list of AFCON MVPs who lost in the final. The list also includes the late Christian Atsu, who won the award in 2015 despite Ghana losing out.

Martin Moses photo
Martin Moses
Martin Moses is a sports journalist with over five years of experience in media. He graduated from Multimedia University of Kenya (Bachelor of Journalism, 2017-2021)