Hertha Berlin striker Salomon Kalou is set to miss the Ivory Coast’s key forthcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifier to fly home after suffering two family bereavements.
It was reported that the 31-year-old ex-Chelsea forward lost his 70-year-old father Antoine, to a heart attack in Abidjan, two weeks ago and is now also mourning the loss of his aunt Fernande.
Having spent time at home already following the death of his father, Kalou will return to Africa next week to be with his family during the international break.
After playing in Hertha’s opening home game of the new season on Sunday at home to Freiburg at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, Kalou will fly home.
He will miss the Ivory Coast’s home international against Sierra Leone in Bouake on September 3, with the hosts top of Group I and two points clear of second-placed Sierre Leone, and a friendly away to Burkino Faso three days later.
“I’m travelling home to support my family,” he told German daily Bild.
“Of course, I am unbelievably sad and feel empty,” he added, talking about the death of his father, after Hertha’s 5-3 penalty shoot-out win at Jahn Regensburg in the first round of the German Cup last Sunday.
“Football is a therapy for me at the moment. It will take a while to get over this.”
After this weekend’s opening round of Bundesliga matches, Berlin’s next German league game is on September 10 at Ingolstadt, but no date has been fixed for Kalou’s return.
“I have been informed of everything. Salomon must decide for himself when he returns,” said Hertha’s coach Pal Dardai.
Kalou was Berlin’s top scorer last season with 14 goals in 32 league games.