Tianjin Teda have announced that Mikel John Obi has been ruled out for the remainder of the Chinese Super League season after picking up a muscle injury in training.
The Super Eagles skipper was not part of Tuesday’s training ahead of Wednesday’s home league match against Dalian Dalian Yifang. Rather Mikel jogged on the sidelines which gave the impression that he is not fully fit.
The injury will come as a big blow for Tianjin coach Uli Stielike who will no doubt miss the services of the experienced midfielder. Tianjin are desperately seeking for a win having gone their last 11 matches without a win.
“We are in a difficult situation right now. We know the importance of the remaining matches. I’m solidly behind the team and I believe the guys will do the job on the pitch and ensure we remain in the top flight,” Mikel said.
Mikel has featured in 18 league matches this season, scoring two goals and also setting up another 2.
He has, however, had physical and fitness issues since returning from the World Cup and has been limited to just 7 appearances compared to the 11 he featured in before the World Cup.
Tianjin Teda look doomed to be relegated as they are second from bottom on the table and will need to win at second-placed Guangzhou Evergrande and hope other results go their way for them to escape the dreaded drop.