Eric Bailly Injury Threatens Cote D’Ivoire AFCON Participation

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli

Manchester United defender Eric Bailly suffered a knee injury in English Premier League action last week, and has revealed that the recovery time will see him aiming to return to the pitch in two months.

The Ivorian will therefore be looking to gain fitness in time to feature for Jose Mourinho’s side in the final days of 2016, only weeks before the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) is scheduled to take place in Gabon.

The defender is expected to be an important member of the Elephants squad, which will be defending the title they won in 2015 when they defeated Ghana in a tense penalty shootout victory.

Pictured wearing a knee brace over the weekend as he attended his club’s disappointing goalless draw against Burnley, concerns have been raised about the 22-year-old missing out on Gabon 2017 if the injury does not heal in time and he is unable to gain match fitness before the showpiece event kicks off on January 14.

Eric Bailly reassures the fans

While some may doubt his ability to recover from his knee issue in time for the AFCON, Bailly made his intentions of playing for his national team very clear when he took to social media to explain his recovery plans.

Addressing his fans via Instagram, he posted: “I wanted to thank you for all the messages of support that I received since the injury! I hope to be able to play again for United and The Elephants before 2 months, God willing. Thanks for always being there!”

The defender has added solidity to an unstable Manchester United backline this season, but his stint on the sidelines will disappoint Mourinho, who has put his faith in the Ivorian youngster.

The Portuguese coach will also no doubt be frustrated at the thought of regaining his star defender at the turn of the year, only to lose him for up to six months as a result of the Nations Cup.