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Boost for Nigeria and Tianjin Teda as John Obi Mikel nears recovery

05:06 GMT+3 21/06/2017
John Obi Mikel
The midfielder picked up an injury against Chongqing Lifan, forcing him to miss international duties, but he is nearing his return

Tianjin Teda captain John Obi Mikel has stepped up his recovery from injury by engaging himself in intensive ball work.

The 30-year-old has missed ten games for the Tianjin Tigers since suffering a strain in his side's 2-0 win over Chongqing Lifan – where he got his first league goal.

Mikel insisted that his recovery was going well and took a step towards his return to first-team action by taking part in ball work with his coach.

''Few more weeks and I'm back on the pitch with my boys #TianjinTeda #SuperEagles #recovery,'' he wrote on Instagram.

 

Few more weeks and I'm back on the pitch with my boys #TianjinTeda #SuperEagles #recovery 

A post shared by Mikel Obi (@mikel_john_obi) on Jun 19, 2017 at 5:00am PDT

That meant he would face a race against time to be back for Tianjin’s home game versus Shandong Luneng on July 9.

And having missed out of Nigeria’s 2-0 defeat to South Africa in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier, he will be expected to lead Gernot Rohr’s side to victory against Cameroon in August’s 2018 Fifa World Cup Russia qualifier.