Nigeria captain Obi Mikel has been “excused” from coach Gernot Rohr’s squad for next week’s double header Afcon 2019 qualifier against Libya due to injury.
The 31-year-old former Chelsea midfield kingpin is yet to feature for the Super Eagles since Russia World Cup mid this year.
He missed the last qualifier against Seychelles which Nigeria won 2-0 away.
“Mikel has been excused because he is just recovering from injury in China and needs time to fully regain fitness,” team spokesman Toyin Ibitoye told BBC Sport.
“We expect him to be available for the November game against South Africa.”
Nigeria are looking to return to the Afcon for the first time since winning it in 2013 under the departed “big boss” Stephen Keshi.
The team begun their campaign on a losing note, going down to South Africa 2-0 but managed to bounce back against Seychelles last month.
Next week they host Libya in Uyo before traveling to Tunisia for the return match three days later.
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Elche FC/Spain), Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba, Nigeria), Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United/South Africa)
Defenders: Ola Aina (Torino FC/Italy), Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC/Turkey), Semi Ajayi (Rotherham United/England), Brian Idowu (Lokomotiv Moscow/Russia), Chidozie Awaziem (FC Porto/Portugal), William Ekong (Udinese FC/Italy), Leon Balogun (Brighton and Hove Albion/England), Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes/Spain), Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07/Germany)
Midfielders: Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor FC/Turkey), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City/England), Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City FC/England), John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva/Israel)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassr FC/Saudi Arabia), Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City/England), Moses Simon (Levante FC/Spain), Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray SK/Turkey), Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai/China), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal/England), Samuel Kalu (Bordeaux/France), Isaac Success (Watford/England)
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