By Amaechi Agbo
Super Eagles skipper, John Mikel Obi has suffered injury setback as Nigeria prepares to host Seychelles in the second match of the 2019 African Cup of Nation Qualifier next month.
The injury is giving the team’s manager, Gernot Rohr concerns on the fitness of his influential captain ahead of the all-important AFCON qualifier on September 6.
Mikel was not in Tianjin Teda’s traveling party for the Chinese Super League clash against Dalian Yifang over the weekend due to injury.
The former Chelsea player sustained the injury in his first game after the World Cup break against Chongqing Dang on July 21 in which he was in action for 90 minutes and played on the right side of a three-man midfield.
Mikel did not train with his Tianjin Teda teammates all through last week because his knees were swollen.
The former Lyn Oslo star was not in the Super Eagles squad that suffered a shock 2-0 defeat to South Africa in their opening fixture of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Apart from the game against Croatia at the 2018 World Cup, the 31-year-old went the distance in the Super Eagles remaining matches against Iceland and Argentina.
The Bafana Bafana of South Africa beat Nigeria for the first time in a competitive game when they defeated the Super Eagles 2-0 in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Uyo last year.
The Super Eagles needs to bounce back from the defeat to brighten their chances of playing in the Cameroon 2019 AFCON.
Nigeria failed to qualify for the last two editions of the tournament in 2015 and 2017.
Nigeria, South Africa, Libya and Seychelles are in Group E with Libya toping the group following their 5-0 bashing of the Seychelles in the first match.