Nigeria head coach Gernot Rohr says his is not in a hurry to recall skipper John Obi Mikel to the senior national team.
According to Rohr, Mikel asked to be excused from national team duties due to fitness issues following his switch to Middlesbroug.
The former Chelsea midfielder last featured for the three-time African champions in a 2-1 loss to Argentina at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
According Rohr says there is need to give the 31-year-old midfielder time before recalling him to the Eagles.
“Obi Mikel has been playing again for Middlesbrough in the last few weeks and he is doing well,” Rohr said while addressing journalists at a pre match conference in Asaba.
“But there is still a little problem with his knee. This is not the right time for him to comeback in his current condition. There are lots of games for him to play.
“His club are fighting to make the play offs in the English Championship. He told me that he wasn’t ready to comeback.”
The coach continued: “If he is very fit again and has the motivation to play. If he shows that the desire to compete is there, the door is open to him to return to the Super Eagles team.”
“We are watching. We are seeing what is happening. We will see if he can comeback.”
Hours before the Eagles take on Seychelles Pirates in an inconsequential Afcon qualifier, Rohr admitted there’s need for experience in the youthful squad.
“We need experience in our team. We have so many young players in the Super Eagles.
“We are younger than the last list. The experience of such player (John Obi Mikel) will be needed,” he said.