Nigeria’s coach, Gernot Rohr, revealed that Super Eagles captain, Mikel Obi, is not yet ready for a return to the national team despite playing regularly for his English Championship side, Middlesbrough.
Mikel Obi is yet to play for Nigeria since the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Rohr has made this known at his pre-match conference ahead of Friday’s 2019 AFCON qualifier against Seychelles.
He said: “Obi Mikel is playing well at Middlesbrough and he is doing well now, but there is still a little problem with his knee and it is not the moment for him to come back to the team in these conditions.
“There are so many games for him to play for Middlesbrough. They are fighting for a promotional playoff spot. And he told me it’s not the right time to return. But if Obi Mikel is very fit and has the motivation, if he shows that he is better than the other people we have, the door is open
“I’m not like Joachim Low (the German coach) who announced that three players are out of the German national team because you never know what might happen. There could be injury or loss of form.
“We are watching what is happening and we hope he (Mikel) can come back one day because we need experience. We now have more young players than the last list.”