The head coach of the Elephant of Coted’Ivoire Louis Gasset has confirmed that striker Sebastian Haller will miss the opening game against Guinea Bissau on Saturday but will return for the second game against Nigeria.
The 29-year-old Borussia Dortmund forward, who came off in his club’s last game in the German Bundesliga on December 19, has been struggling with an ankle problem.
Gasset confirmed Haller will not play in the Group A curtain-raiser at Abidjan’s Ebimpe Olympic Stadium but suggested there was some hope he would return to face Nigeria on January 18.
“Tomorrow he will not be in the squad, for sure, but we have five days after that before the next game and we will see how he gets on,” said on Friday.
Haller has endured a difficult season with Dortmund, for whom he has not scored since netting in a German Cup tie against lower-league opposition in August.