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Osimhen injured and mask lost: when will Napoli’s superhero return?

The Nigerian is one of the most sought after strikers in the game, and fans of the Serie A leaders want his powers back very soon.

Victor Osimhen iguala un registro de Samuel Eto’o en la Serie A de Italia

Napoli is about to embark on one of the most significant months in its storied history. The Azzurri have the opportunity to celebrate their third Scudetto victory in April, a feat they have been waiting 33 years for. Oh, and they will also face a historic Champions League quarter-final against AC Milan. The team has never reached this stage in the European competition, even with Maradona!

However, the excitement that has engulfed the city has been dampened by recent news. Victor Osimhen, who has taken Serie A by storm with 21 goals in 23 games and has scored a total of 25 goals and provided five assists across the season, suffered some discomfort in the adductor muscle of his left thigh on Friday. And this news came on the back of him losing his iconic mask.

How long is Napoli’s Osimhen out injured?

Napoli announced in the afternoon that the player had undergone tests and that his condition would be evaluated over the next week. Only yesterday, local media had reported that Osimhen had lost his lucky mask -- the protective face mask he started wearing in November 2021 after colliding with Milan Skriniar -- during the international team break. This news caused concern in a superstitious city like Naples, and today’s development has only reinforced the belief that: “It’s not true, but I believe it.”

Although confirmation from the club is needed, it means that the Nigerian will miss the important league match against Milan on Sunday, and probably the visit to Lecce on April 7. Then it’s a race against time for him to make that Champions League first-leg against the Rossoneri on April 12 ahead of another league game with Verona on April 15. The return leg against Milan comes on April 18.

Until then, Simeone and Raspadori will have to fill the void left by Osimhen’s absence. Both players have performed well, but playing without the Nigerian is a significant setback for Spalletti. His hope is that history will repeat itself, as Napoli won all six games they played in Serie A and the Champions League during September and October, when Osimhen was out due to another muscle injury. When he is fit enough to return, he’ll almost certainly be wearing a newly created mask.

The superstar is expected to leave in the summer in a potentially record-breaking transfer... but he will want to depart as the superhero he has become.