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Rohr allays fear of serious Joel Obi injury

17:25 SAST 2018/03/12
Joel Obi, Simone Missiroli, Torino, Sassuolo, Serie A, 27082017
The Super Eagles gaffer informed he has been in touch with the former Inter Milan man who said he was only managing the situation, and nothing more
Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr reveals that Joel Obi's absence from action over the weekend was only a 'precaution' and nothing serious.

The midfielder was notably left out of Torino's squad to face AS Roma on Friday evening - a match his side lost 3-0 with second-half goals from Kostas Manolas, Daniele De Rossi and Lorenzo Pellegrini doing the damage - which raised eyebrows as regards the fitness of the injury-ravaged player.

However, the Super Eagles gaffer says the midfielder told him he was only managing the situation as there was no major injury concern.

"Yes, I called him when I saw that. I called him [on Saturday] night to find out why he did not play," Rohr told Goal.

"He told me that it is precaution because he had some injury problems and but we will keep in touch with Torino’s medical team because in the past he had big number of injuries."

The coach, hoping for Obi to attain full fitness ahead of pre-World Cup friendlies against Poland and Serbia later this month, believes the 26-year-old would give him more option in midfield, with players in that department enduring contrasting fate in their various clubs.

"We have some interesting players, we see all the time [Wilfried] Ndidi does very well for Leicester City, we see some problems for [Ogenyi] Onazi, who is not playing all the time in Turkey, the same for Mikel Agu - who's not in my list this time, but we have John Ogu who is doing very well," he continued.

"We have now Joel Obi; I hope he'd be fit, we have our captain John Obi Mikel who played the whole game [for Tianjin Teda on Saturday].

"All we have to do now is have a very good scouting. To monitor them. Which is why the scouting team around me, each Sunday night we make a meeting via phone to see how they are doing."

Obi has had a decent run this season, having already featured in 18 Serie A games - two short of last term's 20 and nine off his record league appearance [27 at Inter Milan in the 2011/12 campaign].

The 26-year-old is also currently enjoying his best form in the final third this term, having scored five goals in 21 appearances across all competitions.

And the ex-Parma man has been rewarded for his consistency, with Rohr handing him his first national team invite - after almost four years out - ahead of tune-up clashes with Poland and Serbia on March 23 and 27 respectively.