Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr has stated that John Obi Mikel will decide when to return to the Super Eagles.
The Tianjin Teda midfielder has not featured for the three-time African champions since captaining the country at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The 65-year-old recently released a 23-man squad for their African Cup of Nations qualifiers with South Africa on November 17 and friendly tie against Uganda three days later with the former Chelsea player omitted despite his involvement at his club over the weekend.
However, the German tactician has explained that it was the wish of his skipper to be left out of the squad, although he hopes he return for the Afcon tournament scheduled for Cameroon next year provided they qualify.
“Mikel told me that he will tell me when he will be ready to come back. He didn’t tell me yet. So I wait,” Rohr told KweseESPN.
“I hope that we can go with him to Afcon and win it for him.”
Trabzonspor midfielder Ogenyi Onazi is another player omitted from the squad for the games after his injury problem ahead of the doubleheader against Libya in October.
“Onazi had a problem with injury. He left Uyo before the match against Libya [earlier this month].
“I have to be aware of the health of our players. We didn’t want to do injections on Achilles tendons before the games.”
Nigeria top Group E standings with nine point from four games after three consecutive victories.