Coach Gernot Rohr has explained that the continuous absence of skipper Mikel Obi from national team assignments lately is not out of apathy but more due to fitness issues.

Rohr said Mikel was excused from the AFCON double header against Libya because he is still battling to be fit.

The former Chelsea star also missed last month’s qualifier against Seychelles due to fitness concerns.

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He has not featured for the country since the Eagles crashed out in the first round of the World Cup in Russia in June.

“Mikel is still not fit and so he asked to be left out,” Rohr explained.

“It’s a physical problem.

“But once he is fit again and playing for his club, he will be back with us and I hope that will be soon.

“We hope he will be back for next month’s game in South Africa.”

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