Toronto FC’s Bright Dike suffers World Cup blow

Bright DikeBy Oluwashina Okeleji – BBC Sport, Lagos

Nigeria striker Bright Dike has suffered an injury that may rule him out of the World Cup in Brazil.

The 27-year-old tore his Achilles tendon for the second time in three years during a Toronto FC training session on Monday.

Dike, who was set to play for Nigeria against Mexico in a friendly on 5 March, wrote on Twitter  that Monday was the “worst day of my life”.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) said Dike’s injury is a massive blow.

“It is such a shame that we have lost a player of his calibre for the friendly against Mexico and possibly the World Cup,” NFF’s spokesman Ademola Olajire told BBC Sport.

“Bright Dike is a top professional and very humble guy. It is a blow for him personally, and for both his club Toronto FC and Nigeria.”

MLS club Toronto FC issued a statement on Dike’s status on Monday evening, saying he “sustained a leg injury on Monday morning while practicing with the team in Orlando, Florida. He will return to Toronto on Tuesday for further evaluation by the team’s medical staff”.

Dike, who has recently returned from a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee, scored his second goal in as many starts for the Super Eagles in November’s 2-2 friendly draw against Italy.

His first international goal against Catalonia in January was not enough to earn him a place in the 2013 African Cup of Nations squad.

But in November, Dike told BBC Sport that he would fight to force his way into Nigeria’s squad for the World Cup and he had earned his chance to impress after being called up by coach Stephen Keshi for next month’s friendly.

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