Mikel out of World Cup
Nigeria midfielder John Obi Mikel has been ruled out of the World Cup amid fears over his knee.
Last Updated: 05/06/10 12:05pm
Nigeria midfielder John Obi Mikel has been ruled out of the World Cup amid fears over his recovery from knee surgery.
Mikel becomes the latest Chelsea player to suffer World Cup heartache with Michael Ballack and Michael Essien unavailable for Germany and Ghana and with Didier Drogba's tournament with Ivory Coast in severe doubt.
The 23-year-old missed the closing weeks of the domestic season as the Blues clinched a Premier League and FA Cup double after going under the knife to cure a knee complaint.
And he will not feature at this summer's showpiece in South Africa despite being named in the 23-man squad after informing his country that he did not want to risk his long-term recovery.
"We have dropped Mikel from the World Cup squad after he told the team he did not want to put his career at risk as his knee injury has yet to fully heal after a recent surgery," team official Emmanuel Attah revealed on Saturday morning.
Brown Ideye has been called up to replace Mikel in coach Lars Lagerback's squad.
Ideye, who plays for Sochaux in France, was one of the unlucky seven players to be dropped from the Super Eagles squad earlier this week when Lagerback trimmed his list to 23.
However, there are conflicting reports regarding the injury suffered by Mikel, with media officer Idah Peterside saying it was an ankle injury.
"Mikel suffered a bruise to his ankle and a scan showed that he will not recover on time," Peterside told kickoffnigeria.com.
"The coach has now decided to call up Brown Ideye to replace him."