Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel was injured in the 1-0 Africa Cup of Nations win over Tanzania on Saturday, Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr has revealed.
Mikel was surprisingly taken off shortly after the restart with the game still in a stalemate but Rohr has confirmed that the midfielder was injured, prompting his substitution.
“Mikel asked to be replaced because he was injured and I took the precaution to do so because I did not want to hurt the club and the player,” Rohr confirmed after the game.
The Chelsea midfielder went close to scoring for Nigeria, but was denied Tanzania goalkeeper, Aishi Manula.
Mikel, 29, has been in inspired form for Nigeria lately, and impressed throughout for the Nigerian U23 side as they won the Bronze medal at the recently ended Olympic Games in Brazil.
Meanwhile, the Super Eagles went on to score the winner in the 78th minute after Mikel had left the pitch, with Manchester City forward Kelechi Iheanacho scoring a wonder-goal to start Rohr’s reign with a victory.