Super Eagles captain and former Chelsea man Mikel Obi would decide when to return to the team, according to coach Gernot Rohr.
Mikel, since Nigeria crashed out of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, has not featured for the West Africans.
The Tianjin Teda man was overlooked as Rohr, 65, named the team that would face South Africa in a 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifier in November.
Speaking on the development which has left many fans wondering if Mikel has quit the team, Rohr said it was the player’s decision to be left out of the side.
“Mikel told me that he will tell me when he will be ready to come back. He didn’t tell me yet. So I wait,” the coach told Kwese ESPN.
“I hope that we can go with him to Afcon and win it for him.”
On midfielder Ogenyi Onazi who was left out of the side, the German said “Onazi had a problem with injury. He left Uyo before the match against Libya [earlier this month].
“I have to be aware of the health of our players. We didn’t want to do injections on Achilles’ tendons before the games.”
Nigeria lead the Group E standings for the race to Cameroon with nine points from four games.