Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang misses Gabon’s AFCON clash with Ghana after medical staff noticed a ‘minor heart issue’ after the Arsenal striker finished his coronavirus recovery

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  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was missing from Gabon’s squad on Friday night
  • The Panthers take on Ghana in their second Africa Cup of Nations tie
  • But Aubameyang’s name was not in the team despite recovering from Kovid.
  • The Arsenal striker missed out on Gabon’s win over the Comoros but was training this week
  • Arsenal believe all is well with the striker after Gabon talks, according to reports

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was dropped from Gabon’s squad for their second Africa Cup of Nations group game with Ghana after medics discovered he had post-coronavirus ‘heart wounds’.

The Arsenal forward missed his country’s victory over the Comoros after testing positive for Covid-19 on Monday – and when he returned to training earlier this week, medical staff watched as he and two players recovered. Later he had a minor heart problem.

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The Gabon FA revealed in a statement that the Confederation of African Football (CAF) “does not want to risk” Aubameyang’s fitness, with his teammates Mario Lemina and Axel May also missing the Ghana match for the same reason.

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was dropped from Gabon’s squad for their AFCON clash with Ghana

Medical staff noticed that Aubameyang and two others had 'heart wounds' after being covid

Medical staff noticed that Aubameyang and two others had ‘heart wounds’ after being covid

A statement from the Gabon FA read: ‘Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Axel Maye and Mario Lemina are barely out of COVID (isolation) and cannot take part in this match.

‘(Medical) examinations showed lesions of the heart. CAF did not want to take any risk.

According to The Athletic, Arsenal are in contact with Gabon’s medical team regarding Aubameyang’s condition and believe all is well with their former captain.

The striker is a key figure for Gabon, scoring 29 goals in 71 caps for his country, including three in six appearances during 2021.

Aubameyang was expected to face his Gunners teammate in Ghana’s Thomas Partey on Friday night, but now only the 28-year-old midfielder will be standing in Cameroon for the competition.

Gabon selected Qatar-based striker Aaron Boupendza and Saint-Etienne forward Denis Bouanga as their attacking options for the Ghana match, with no sign of Aubameyang on the ten-man substitute bench.

Gabon try to reach AFCON knockout stages with win over Ghana on Friday night

Gabon try to reach AFCON knockout stage with win over Ghana on Friday night

Gabon know a win over Ghana will take them to the knockout rounds of the tournament, while the Black Stars are looking to make a mark for the tournament after losing their first Group C match to Morocco this week.

But the Panthers, who captain Aubameyang, must do without coach Patrice Neveu, who has tested positive for the coronavirus in the build-up to Friday’s game. The Gabon federation said defender Lloyd Palun and striker Kevin Mei are also out after testing positive.

The exact source of the outbreak within the Gabon camp is unclear, but social media footage surfaced on social media of players at a pre-tournament camp in Dubai before the Arsenal striker tested positive.

Aubameyang was filmed partying with Gabon teammate Lemina, formerly of Fulham and Southampton and now at Ligue 1 club Nice.

Aubameyang chats with friends during dinner in Dubai

The Gabon captain can be seen enjoying himself during some downtime in Dubai

Aubameyang was filmed partying with Gabon teammate Mario Lemina in Dubai last week

Aubameyang said he was feeling fine after a week of isolation in his room and posted two photos of him in training to his Instagram account.

‘I still have a chance to work in my room. I took a bike and did a circuit, trying to keep in shape as much as possible,’ he told his country’s federation Facebook page.

“It’s not going to be easy, because it’s not going to be a match like rhythm or proper training, but we will get through it.”

“We are going to play a very tough opponent who needs to win the game, so we have to be as serious as in the first game. I know we will have chances.

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