By Ameenu Shardow
Striker Richmond Boakye-Yiadom has been ruled out of Ghanaâ€™s match against Mali on Thursday.
The 19-year-old has been nursing an ankle injury which he sustained during Ghanaâ€™s final training session of the pre-Nations Cup training camp in Abu Dhabi.
The on-loan Juventus player at Italian Serie-B side Sassuolo was initially expected to be fit for Ghanaâ€™s opening group game against DR Congo last Sunday.
But his slow recovery from the ankle injury has delayed his return to full scale training with the rest of the Black Stars team.
Boakye-Yiadom jogged for close to 15 minutes on Tuesday after which he was strapped with a heavy pack of ice as he watched the remaining sessi0n at the Nelson Mandela University pitch from the sidelines.
Team doctor Baba Adamu in a media briefing on Tuesday evening has now confirmed the ex Genoa forward will be out for about five days â€“ effectively ruling him out of Thursdayâ€™s crucial game against Mali.
â€œWith things going as they are now, 4-5 days Yiadom should be fit to kick,â€ he said.
â€œHe was expected to train with the team today (Tuesday) but his recovery has been slow.
â€œWe had envisaged that he will be on the field today but unfortunately he still has little bit of pains that we are grabbing now.
â€œI will take him to the hospital tomorrow (Wednesday) to check on the injury.â€
This leaves the number of recognized strikers in the team to just two with only Asamoah Gyan and Emmanuel Clottey left for the Mali game.
Ghana needs a victory against the current Group B leaders to resurrect its title ambitions in South Africa after throwing away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with DR Congo in the group opener.