Last week, it was revealed that three Gabon national team players had been diagnosed with heart abnormalities after recovering from COVID-19. Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is probably the most echoing name of all, as the Gabonese medical staff indicated he had cardiac lesions.
The 32-year-old missed Gabon's opening two games at the tournament, missing a win over Comoros owing to the coronavirus, and then was ruled out of a draw with Ghana. Mario Lemina, now at Nice, and attacker Axel Meye, both ex-Southampton players, were also ruled out for the same reason.
As a precaution, all three players were then sent back to their respective clubs this week. Arsenal's physicians, meanwhile, have communicated with Gabon's specialists, who stated that the condition is not serious and that the 32-year-old is in good health. However, what is becoming concerning is that Algerian winger Adam Ounas is the latest 2021 Africa Cup of Nations player who has suffered post-coronavirus heart problems.
Adam Ounas diagnosed with heart problems
Algeria manager Djamel Belmadi has revealed that 25-year-old forward Adam Ounas has actually missed the Africa Cup of Nations owing to a cardiac worry. Current winners and two-time champions, the Greens, tumbled out unexpectedly of the competition very early, in the Group Stage. The Napoli ace, who is yet to feature for the Paternopei in Serie A this season, was part of their victorious squad in the 2019 AFCON.
"We have chosen to follow my instructions and keep Adam's medical condition a secret until now. He tested positive for COVID-19, and the most recent testing revealed something wrong with his heart, so he will need to do a lot more. We would not have seen the player again if we had stated that.
"We couldn't reveal everything since Aubameyang and Lemina had to withdraw from the event. We hadn't made any public announcements, but now I can reveal that the player will have to undergo more testing", Belmadi said at a press conference on Friday.