Sunderland star Wahbi Khazri passed fit for African Cup of Nations

Khazri has been passed fit
Khazri has been passed fit
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Tunisia have officially confirmed that Sunderland midfielder Wahbi Khazri will be fit to play a full part in their African Cup of Nations campaign.

Tunisia have officially confirmed that Sunderland midfielder Wahbi Khazri will be fit to play a full part in their African Cup of Nations campaign.

The 25-year-old was involved in a collision in the early stages of a warm-up game with Egypt, and there were fears that he had sustained serious damage to his ankle when he had to be strechered from the field. Khazri was intially unable to walk but did watch the rest of the game from the sideline bench.

However, those fears were gradually allayed and the Tunisian Football Federation have confirmed the diagnosis as a ‘benign ankle sprain’.

Tunisia’s campaign kicks off with a game against Senegal on Sunday afternoon.

It is a major boost for the North African tournament outstiders, who rely on Khazri for the majority of their attacking output.

Khazri has ten goals in 28 caps for his country, who have also been drawn alongside Zimbabwe and Algeria in Group B.

Sunderland fans will be watching Khazri’s progress with keen interest, the playmaker having being linked with a move away from the club in the January window. Dick Advocaat’s Fenerbahce have been linked with a loan move for the player who cost the Black Cats a significant amount this time last year.

He has struggled to convince David Moyes that he is worthy of a place in the first XI, however, not getting the nod from the start since the 4-1 defeat to Arsenal at the end of October.

He has made thirteen appearances in all competitions this season, but the majority have been from the bench even during the worst of Sunderland’s injury crisis.

Lamine Kone is also expected to be fit for the start of the Ivory Coast’s campaign, despite missing a warm-up friendly with Sweden.

Kone was injured when he crashed into the advertising hoardings at Turf Moor, Sunderland surrendering to a 4-1 defeat after his departure.

The Ivory Coast start their campaign to retain the trophy the won in 2015 against Togo on Monday.

Also in action over the weekend will be midfielder Dider Ndong, whose Gabon side are hosting the tournament.

They open the event on Saturday afternoon against Guinea-Bissau.