Super Eagles manager, Gernot Rohr, has stated that he is not rushing the recall of Middlesbrough midfielder John Obi Mikel to the senior national team.
The Eagles skipper has reportedly asked to be excused from national team duties due to fitness issues.
Mikel last featured for the three-time African champions in a 2-1 loss to Argentina at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The Rohr managed side have been decent in the last six matches without the presence of their inspirational captain.
According to the Franco-German, there is need to give the former Lyn, Chelsea and Tianjin Teda midfielder time before he is ready to return to the Eagles fold.
“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.”
Rohr harped on the need for experience in the youthful Super Eagles 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,” the coach added.
Mikel has netted six goals in 85 appearances for the Super Eagles.