Nigeria have been dealt a massive blow as their key midfielder Wilfred Ndidi is set to miss the 2022 World Cup playoff against Ghana next week.
The Leicester City star is injured and is likely not to be released by the Premier League club to join Nigeria for the crucial doubleheader.
The midfielder could be out for a few weeks, Leicester City manager revealed on Friday, a week to the first meeting between Ghana and Nigeria in Kumasi.
Ndidi suffered a medial ligament injury in the club’s Europa Conference League last-16 second-leg clash against Rennes on Thursday.
The midfielder hurt his knee in a 50-50 challenge and was replaced by James Maddison on the hour mark.
“Wilfred Ndidi, we just have to assess,” Rodgers said.
“He picked up an injury that might keep him out for a few weeks, which is a shame.”
“Just as it looks like we’re getting players back. We’ve got a really good squad when they’re all available. It looks like we’ll get some back, but one or two might be out. We’ll have to see once the scans turn up later.”
Rodgers also revealed that his compatriot Ademola Lookman who has been handed debut call-up by Nigeria is also not 100 per cent fit.
Ndidi is a key figure in the Super Eagles team both on and off the pitch and his likely absence can affect the team’s chances of eliminating Ghana and qualifying for the World Cup.
Nigeria coach Austin Eguavoen will now have to find a replacement Ndidi if he is ruled out.
Oghenekaro Etebo and Frank Onyeka are likely to come in, while Ogenyi Onazi could also be drafted from the standby list.
Meanwhile, Ghana have also been rocked by injury to in-form striker Antoine Semenyo who is flourishing in the English Championship with Bristol City.
Ghana and Nigeria will lock horns twice in the space of four days with the winner qualifying for World Cup in Qatar.
The first leg will be played on Friday, March 25 with the return leg on 29 March.