Nigeria captain, Mikel Obi, is missing on the 24-man list released on Monday by the team’s Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr for this month’s encounters with Libya in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.
All invited players are to report in Uyo, on Monday, October 8.
Team’s media officer, Toyin Ibitoye explained that Mikel was excused by the coach to enable him to recover fully from his injury.
“Rohr does not want to overload him with international engagement at the moment, but hopefully, Mikel will be back for the MatchDay 5 with South Africa next month,” he said.
Mikel last played for Nigeria at the 2018 World Cup in Russia against Argentina in a group match on June 26 in Saint Petersburg.
In the list released through the media department of the NFF, Moses Simon is returning to the team after a long spell with injury sustained just before the release of the final World Cup squad in May.
But the lanky Simeon Nwankwo, a late entrant into the squad last May is omitted this time despite being in Seychelles last month and also scoring in the exhibition match in Liberia.
Former junior international Isaac Success is called up along with Ahmed Musa and 23 other players.
Arsenal FC of England forward Alex Iwobi is on the list alongside Italy –based duo of William Ekong and Olaoluwa Aina. All three missed the 3-0 win over Seychelles in Mahe last month due to injury.
Goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa is the only home –based professional. China –based forward Odion Ighalo and Russia –based defender Bryan Idowu are also among the pack that has been called to hunt for the six maximum points against Group E leaders Libya in the Matchday 3 and 4 games.
Nigeria host the first leg at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo on Saturday, 13th October with the return scheduled for the 18,000 –capacity Stade Taieb Mhiri in the city of Sfax, Tunisia on Tuesday, October 16.
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Elche FC, Spain); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Enyimba FC); Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa United, South Africa)
Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Semi Ajayi (Rotherham United, England); Bryan Idowu (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia); Chidozie Awaziem (FC Porto, Portugal); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion, England); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany)
Midfielders: Ogenyi Onazi (Trabzonspor FC, Turkey); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City FC, England); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nasr FC, Saudi Arabia); Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, England); Moses Simon (Levante FC, Italy); Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray SK, Turkey); Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai, China); Alex Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Samuel Kalu (Bordeaux FC, France); Isaac Success (Watford FC, England)