Nigeria have confirmed that Super Eagles skipper John Obi Mikel will be fit to play against South Africa in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
The match is set to take place on June 10 in Uyo, Nigeria and is the opening game of the 2019 AFCON qualification process.
Mikel, who departed Chelsea for Chinese side Tianjin Teda at the start of the year, underwent surgery in England on April 29.
But both player and club announced recently that he will return to training this week, with the Nigeria Football Federation subsequently saying they are confident the midfielder will be ready for next month’s game.
“The match is a month way and Mikel should be fit in time for the game,” NFF assistant technical director Siji Lagunju was quoted as saying by Scorenigeria.
“It’s important he’s part of the team because he is a driving force, a role model to many of the players. His leadership qualities are second to none.”
Meanwhile, Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr has confirmed a 25-man squad for the upcoming friendly games against France and Corsica later this month.
Mikel was not part of the list but will likely be added to the squad later. Two other players, Ola Aina (Chelsea FC) and Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi will join the camp late as they are involved in the FA Cup final in England.
The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) website confirmed the squad as follows:
Goalkeepers: Ikechukwu Ezenwa (FC IfeanyiUbah); Dele Alampasu (Cesarense FC, Portugal)
Defenders: Leon Balogun (FSV Mainz 05, Germany); William Ekong (KAA Gent, Belgium); Uche Agbo (CF Granada, Spain); Abdullahi Shehu (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus); Tyronne Ebuehi (ADO Den Haag, The Netherlands); Elderson Echiejile (Sporting Gijon, Spain); Chidozie Awaziem (FC Porto, Portugal)
Midfielders: Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (CD Feirense, Portugal); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel); Mikel Agu (Vitoria Setubal, Portugal); Alhassan Ibrahim (Akwa United FC)