The Blues midfielder went a third match unlisted and may not have recovered from his knee knock national as camp medics wait to ascertain his fitness ahead of the Nations Cup
Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi is on the edge of his seat ahead of his squad announcement after Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel missed his third straight game on Saturday as the Blues defeated Southampton 5-1.
Mikel was unlisted, heightening speculations that his injury might keep him out of Nigeria’s Africa Cup of Nations squad.
The midfielder has been nursing a knee knock that he suffered in a Premier League game against Norwich City. The club's website had stated that Mikel would be available for Saturday's game but he was not listed in Rafa Benitez's squad.Compatriot Victor Moses was listed in the Chelsea game and scored the third goal in a 5-1 defeat of Southampton. He and Mikel are expected to join the Super Eagles in their Faro, Portugal training base on Saturday night.
National team spokesman Ben Alaiya responded to queries from Goal.com about Mikel's injury status thus: "He has said he's fit and when he comes the medics will do their routine check on him."
The waiting game continues for the player that is expected to lead Nigeria to their third Afcon victory in South Africa.
Mikel returned to the Super Eagles in October 2012 as Nigeria ran riot over Liberia in their final Afcon qualifying game.
He gave a virtuoso performance as he scored from a penalty kick before providing a spot on cross for club mate Moses to head home.
Nigeria are drawn in Group C alongside Zambia, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso.