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Mikel John Obi denies being injured, is ready to captain Nigeria against Zambia

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Bruno Zanardo/Getty Images

Well, this one's a bit odd, though I'm sure it's nothing more than just a misunderstanding by someone, somewhere in this situation.

Ahead of Chelsea's match at Hull City this past weekend, Chelsea's official Twitter account relayed information that Mikel John Obi was battling a "small muscular problem" that would keep him out of the match — though given his late start to the club season after the Olympics and his current standing at the very bottom of the midfield pecking order, he probably would not have featured anyway.

And yet, here's Mikel, just a day later, getting quoted in various Nigerian publications talking about his injury.  Granted, all of these seem to be second-hand reports — I've yet to find an online version of the original source of these quotes.

According to Mikel who spoke with, he is shocked at reports about him being injured. "I don't know where the story about my being injured came from. I have no injury. All the other players and myself are fit and ready and we are determined to start the World Cup race on a winning note," Mikel told the team's Administrator, Dayo Enebi Achor on Saturday.

-source: Sun News

For what it's worth, I can't find these quotes, or even a story about Mikel's injury on  There is a story denying other reports about the Super Eagles being unable to fly to Zambia for the World Cup qualifying match next weekend, but there's nothing about this apparent misunderstanding.  So yeah, that's a bit weird.

Mikel did post an Instagram video of working out on the stationary bike alongside John Terry, who's also battling a small injury still.

After many successful years together still hungry @johnterry.26

A video posted by Mikel Obi (@mikel_john_obi) on

So there's disconnect somewhere.  Probably nothing to be too concerned about.  In any case, good luck to Mikel (and Chelsea loanee Kenneth Omeruo) as they take on Zambia on Sunday.