Samuel Kalu of Bordeaux battles Jason Berthomier of Clermont during the Ligue 1 football match between their sides at Stade Matmut Atlantique on August 8, 2021. Photo: AFP
Super Eagles winger Samuel Kalu will return to action for Bordeaux this weekend when they take on Saint-Etienne in the French Ligue 1.
Kalu missed Les Girondins’ 3-2 loss to RC Lens last Sunday for health reasons due to his involvement in the Super Eagles’ recent World Cup qualifiers.
With the Covid-19 pandemic still ravaging the globe, Nigeria and Cape Verde, according to French health authorities, are classified as “orange” category countries.
After travelling back home to Africa and representing the Super Eagles against Liberia in Lagos, at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, and Cape Verde, at the Estádio Municipal Adérito Sena, the 24-year-old was prevented from playing in the 3-2 loss to Lens.
But he has now been cleared by Bordeaux to feature against St. Étienne on Saturday after observing his period of regulatory quarantine and resumed training on Thursday.
His return will be a welcome boost for the six-time French league champions, who after five rounds of matches are still in search of their first win of the season and are currently bottom of the French Ligue 1 table.
Kalu featured in four of those five games for Bordeaux – against Clermont (0-2), Marseille (2-2), Angers (1-1), and Nice (0-4). He suffered a health scare during the loss to Clermont after collapsing on the pitch.
Kalu’s teammate and Ghanaian defender Gideon Mensah, who is on loan from Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg, will however not be available for the game against Lens as his period of quarantine is yet to elapse despite returning to France at about the same time as his Nigerian teammate.
This is because Mensah had played during the last international break in South Africa, a country classified as “red” by the French health authorities.