Former Super Eagles defender, Eric Ejiofor has revealed that he was forced to retire from football due to the continuous injury crisis that he alleged resulted in strange circumstances.
Ejiofor, who was a dependable defender during his time with Enyimba in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) and also was the only home-based player selected by late Amodu Shaibu at the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations, stated this during an interview with Brila.net.
He recounted how he finished training with his Greek club, Enosis Neon Paralimni without sustaining an injury and went straight to his locker room only to begin feeling pains in his knees.
Ejiofor stated that all attempts to surgically correct the problem proved abortive as he was left to hang his boot.
‘It was like any other day, we had just finished training, everybody packed their stuffs and we kept them in the locker room. It was the eve of a league game.
‘At this point, I wasn’t thinking of retirement because I was close to signing a new deal with my club, Enosis Neon Paralimni.
‘I remember we all returned on matchday and my boots were missing. It was strange because everyone else found theirs cleaned and packed where it should be, but mine wasn’t,’ said the former Enyimba man.
‘There were West Africans and Southern Africans in the team, but I won’t think for once that any one of them would have such intentions.
‘All I know is, during the game I didn’t suffer any injury, but after the game I started feeling pains in my knees,’ he recalls.
‘I had several appointments with the club doctor. My knees will swell so bad that it required the doctors to drain the liquid from it with injections, and series of MRI tests done found nothing wrong.’
‘This situation worried me a lot and finally, we agreed I’ll have a surgery in my knee for a meniscus repair. Cartilages were removed and that was the end of my career.
‘I would be in extreme pains and couldn’t get even walk properly, it forced me to retire.
‘That remains my biggest regret till date, that I was forced to leave the game and not on my own terms.’
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