Tuesday Nov 27, 2018. 10:00
Nigeria manager Gernot Rohr has revealed that influential midfielder John Obi Mikel has not retired from international football and will let the German tactician know when he is fit to return to the Super Eagles.
Mikel has not appeared for Nigeria since the end of their 2018 World Cup campaign in Russia, missing four 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers through September, October and November.
The Chinese-based player has struggled with injuries in recent months and seemingly fallen by the wayside for his country, with the likes of Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho given playing time in Mikel’s preferred number 10 role.
However, Rohr recently stated that the former Chelsea player remains a part of his plans – once he can get over his injuries and return to fitness.
“The situation with Mikel is that after the World Cup, he wanted to take a little break from the national team,” Rohr said at a media event, as quoted by All Nigeria Soccer.
“And the other time we were in touch, he told me, 'honestly I’m not fit. But when I’ll be fit, I‘ll let you know'.
“He was injured in the last games of his club, so he could not come. We will see what happens in the future.”
Nigeria will return to 2019 AFCON qualifying action in March when they face the Seychelles at home. The Super Eagles have already secured a berth at the finals in Cameroon.