Chinese Super League team, Tianjin Teda, has confirmed that Super Eagles Captain, John Mikel Obi, will be fit to return to action in two weeks.
The former Chelsea of England midfielder has been sidelined with an abdominal strain which has kept him out of active competition for over two months. Mikel last appeared for Tianjin Teda on April 2 when he helped the club win 2-0 in a Chinese Super League game against Chongquin Dangdai Lifan at Tianjin Tuanbo Soccer Stadium. Mikel scored in the win for Tianjin Teda, the club’s first of the season. Tianjin Teda have struggled in Mikel’s absence, winning just three of their last 13 matches in all competitions. It was not only the Chinese club that missed the service of the influential Nigerian playmaker. His absence was glaring in the AFCON 2019 Eagles played against South Africa as Bafana Bafana decimated Eagles 2-0 in Uyo to claim a famous victory over Nigeria.
Mikel is expected to be firmly in the frame for Nigeria’s 2018 FIFA World Cup double header qualifier against Cameroon on August 28 and September 2 in Uyo and Yaounde respectively. Also at the weekend football aficionados in Lagos were thrilled by the news of the recovery of Super Eagles first choice goalkeeper, Carl Ikeme from the injury that kept him out of the senior national team since April. The Wolverhampton Wanderers keeper sustained a hamstring injury while on international duty with the Super Eagles in London for the international friendly with Senegal on March 24. Akpeyi completed that game. The second game against Burkina Faso could not hold due to visa hitches.
That injury shut out Ikeme from the training matches with Corsica and Togo in Paris. It was also the reason that South Africa-based Daniel Akpeyi was called in for Nigeria’s clash with South Africa in Uyo. Akpeyi was blamed by Nigerian fans for the 2-0 defeat to the Bafana Bafana. The good news for coach Gernot Rohr now is that the 30-year-old British-born keeper, who played 31 times for the struggling Wolves in all competitions last season is back to training in UK ahead of Wolves’ pre season. Ikeme posted his training pictures on the social media to confirm he would be available for Eagles when Cameroon Lions visit Uyo on August 29 and the return leg four days later in Yaounde.