John Obi Mikel ruled out of Seychelles clash

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Coach Gernot Rohr will be without his captain when the Super Eagles face the Pirates in an African Cup of Nations qualifier next month

John Obi Mikel will not be available when Nigeria face Seychelles in their second 2019 African Cup of Nations qualification clash at the Stade Linite in Victoria on September 8.

Mikel’s absence was unconnected to the injury he suffered earlier this month with his Chinese club Tianjin Teda that he is yet to fully recover from, hence his withdrawal.

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It is the second time on the bounce that the 31-year-old will be absent due to an injury from the 2019 Afcon qualifiers, having missed a 2-0 opening home loss to South Africa in June 2017.

Coach Gernor Rohr is expected to announce his list of invited players on Friday, but has confirmed the captain’s request to pull out of the qualifier clash.

"We spoke together. He [Mikel] is just coming back from injury and he needs to push his club commitments to get back in shape. After the injury he needs time to get fit again," Rohr told KweseESPN.