Everton's Alex Iwobi injured, doubtful for Super Eagles' crunch Afcon clash in March

Everton's Alex Iwobi injured, doubtful for Super Eagles' crunch Afcon clash in March

Super Eagles midfielder Alex Iwobi was stretchered off the pitch in the second half of Everton's loss to Manchester United on Friday evening after sustaining an injury that looks like ligament damage.

Iwobi has been one of Everton's best players this season but he was on for only 51 minutes at Old Trafford as Everton crashed out of the FA Cup with a 3-1 loss.

The match was evenly balanced at 1-1 when Dutch defender Tyrell Malacia hacked down Iwobi with a crunching tackle while the Nigerian midfielder was leading a fast counterattack.

Providing an update on Iwobi after the encounter, Everton manager Frank Lampard admitted the injury looked bad but insists a definite assessment can only be made after the 26-year-old has an ankle scan to determine the extent of the injury.

"We hope it’s not too serious," Lampard said. "It looks like an ankle ligament injury. He will have a scan tomorrow (Saturday) to confirm.

A ligament damage can take anything from a few weeks to several months to heal, depending on the degree of tear. If Iwobi's injury is as worse as it looks, the former Arsenal winger could be unavailable for club and country over the next few weeks.

Iwobi could miss Everton's next crucial games against West Ham United, Liverpool, and league leaders Arsenal, as the struggling Toffees aim to avoid relegation.

The injury could also make Iwobi a major doubt for Nigeria's next Africa Cup of Nations qualifying doubleheader against Guinea-Bissau on March 20 and 27.

Iwobi was involved as the Super Eagles secured victories over Sierra Leone (2-1, Iwobi scored Nigeria's first) and Sao Tome and Principe (10-0) last June. 

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