Napoli forward Victor Osimhen has described the facial injury he suffered last season against Inter as “like a near-death injury”.
The Nigeria international was hurt in a clash of heads with Nerazzurri defender Milan Skriniar during Inter’s 3-2 win against Napoli at San Siro in November.
Osimhen, who has been linked with the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United in recent weeks, needed surgery on his face and did not return to action until mid-January.
Despite that lay-off, the 23-year-old scored 18 times in 32 appearances for Luciano Spalletti’s side in all competitions last season.
His 14 league goals also meant Osimhen became the first Nigerian to achieve double figures in two straight Serie A terms, while he became just the fourth African player to achieve the feat in the Italian top flight after George Weah for Milan, Samuel Eto’o for Inter and Mohamed Salah for Roma.
Speaking to Wazobia FM, Osimhen detailed his injury against Inter and the mentality he needed to come back.
“As I got to the hospital, I told my doctor that I would be out for two weeks maximum,” he said.
“When the scan came out, I fractured many bones, which they had to remove and fix inside again. I have like 18 screws under my jaw. I went through a lot.
“I could not sleep, I could not eat with the pain. But at the end of the day, I am a lion, and I know the kind of mentality I have.
“In my mind, I had already scheduled my return following the surgery.”
Osimhen returned for the 2-0 win at Bologna in which Hirving Lozano scored both goals, with Napoli ultimately ending the season in third place in Serie A.