February 07, 2013
Nigeria's Victor Moses (right) fights for the ball with Ivory Coast's Salomon Kalou in Nigeria's semifinal win.
Armando France/AP

Nigeria striker Victor Moses is still bothered by a left ankle injury and his presence in the African Cup of Nations final remains uncertain.

Moses was limping and had to walk very slowly as Nigeria boarded a plane from Durban to Johannesburg on Thursday, a day after the Super Eagles defeated Mali 4-1 to reach their first final in more than a decade.

Coach Stephen Keshi said Moses will undergo exams later Thursday in Johannesburg.

"We will know then, but I think he will be OK,'' the coach told The Associated Press.

Moses, one of the team's leading strikers, was hurt in the second half at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Wednesday, being replaced by Ahmed Musa in the 53rd minute.

The Chelsea forward was reluctant to discuss his condition on Thursday.

"I just twisted it,'' the 22-year-old striker said.

The injury happened during a play near midfield in the second half. Moses didn't appear to be fouled and the play continued, but he immediately went to the ground and requested assistance.

Moses set up the team's first two goals on Wednesday, first with a nice move and a perfect cross to Elderson Echiejile in the 25th, then by starting the counterattack that led to Emmanuel Emenike's goal from inside the area in the 30th.

Moses came up big in the final group match against Ethiopia, setting up two late penalty kicks and converting them to save the Super Eagles from early elimination. The 0-0 draw until then was ending the team's chances of making the quarterfinals.

Moses played for England's youth squads for five years but opted last year to defend for Nigeria's senior team.

Emenike, who teams up with Moses up front, also was injured in the win over Mali. Details on the injury were not revealed but Keshi also downplayed its significance.

"The medical team here is working round the clock to ensure that they will be ready for the final on Sunday and they will advise us on what to do at the appropriate time,'' he said after the team arrived in Johannesburg.

Emenike is one of the tournament's leading scorers with four goals.

Nigeria is trying to win its first title since 1994. It hadn't made it to the final since 2000.

"We need everybody in the team. We'll just cross our fingers,'' Keshi said after Wednesday's match.

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