Nigeria international basketball star Ezinne Kalu is expected to miss six months of action after having surgery on her injured knee.
The France-based point guard is expected to miss her country's campaign in February's qualifying tournament as the West African nation bid to reach next year's Women's Basketball World Cup in Australia.
"I'm off the court for six months, but I'm going to bounce back," the 29-year-old said as she confirmed the news on social media.
She starred in September's continental final, scoring 13 points, and was named in the team of tournament as D'Tigress became only the second side to win three African women's basketball titles in a row.
It is just the second time that US-born Kalu, who averaged 16.3 points per game in her last three games for French top-tier club Landerneau BB, has undergone surgery, with the first being back in 2012.
Kalu was named the 2019 Women's Afrobasket MVP (Most Valuable Player) and is one of Nigeria's most influential players.
She represented D'Tigress, Africa's highest-ranked side, in the 2017, 2019 and 2021 Afrobasket events, helping them to three straight championships success.