Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is leaving Gabon’s AFCON camp to return to Arsenal for an in-depth medical examination.
After partaking in pre-tournament training in Dubai, the 32-year-old tested positive for Covid-19 on his arrival in Cameroon and missed his country’s 1-0 win over Comoros while self-isolating.
He was due to return for their second match against Ghana but was pulled from the squad hours before kick-off when scans by the team’s doctors and CAF officials revealed “heart lesions”.
While coach Patrice Neveu initially played down the issue, which has also affected midfielder Mario Lemina, he’s since made the difficult decision to let the pair return to their clubs before the end of the group stage.
🚨 COMMUNIQUÉ DE PRESSE 🚨 pic.twitter.com/VdtU528tWM
— Fédération Gabonaise de Football – FEGAFOOT (@fegafoot_gabon) January 17, 2022
In a press conference ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Morocco, Neveu said, “For the health of the two players, we have taken the decision to let them return to their clubs so that they can receive in-depth treatment.
“It’s a difficult decision, but we have to focus on the rest of the competition and deal with the group we have at our disposal.”
Obviously, this is a concerning situation for all involved. Fingers crossed the tests are just a precaution and there won’t be any long-term repercussions for the player.
Aubameyang returns to Arsenal with his future at the club uncertain. He’s not played since early December after being punished for a disciplinary breach that saw him stripped of the captaincy.