Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr has revealed why the national team skipper John Obi Mikel was not called up for the doubleheader against Libya 2019 AFCON qualifiers because he is still battling to be fit.
The 31-year-old Tianjin TEDA midfielder misses Nigeria 3-0 win over Seychelles last month and he now out of must-win encounter against the Mediterranean Knights at Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo on Saturday with the return leg in three later at Stade Taïeb Mhiri in the city of Sfax, Tunisia on Tuesday 16th October.
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Former Chelsea star has not featured for the country since the Super Eagles crashed out in the first round of the 2018FIFA World Cup in Russia in the summer.
Rohr explained: "Mikel is still not fit and so he asked to be left out.
"It’s a physical problem.
"When he is fit, he will come back to the Super Eagles and play. He sends his messages and is always with us in spirit. Hopefully, he should be back for the game against South Africa in November."
The German tactician admits that he is satisfied with the level of training following their first workout on grass
at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium on Wednesday evening.
The Super Eagles who are third on the Group E log face a must-win game against the Mediterranean Knights in Uyo this weekend.
"We have it good with training since the beginning of the week. The environment here is serene and the pitch is in good condition.
"We have had four training sessions so far. Not all the players started with us on Monday. Some of them trained on Monday. On Tuesday we had two sessions," he added