Stephen Keshi, the Super Eagle coach has admitted interest in the situation of fit-again on-loan Parma midfielder Joel Obi.
Obi, who has made seven Serie A appearances for Parma in the season, returned to action in October last year after a long-term layoff – after he suffered a bad injury in 2012.
Consequently, the 22-year-old missed on the Nigeria’s 2013 Africa Cup of Nations win in South Africa – and was also denied a chance to put his talents on display during the Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifiers.
Despite his injury woes, Keshi says Obi, who joined Parma on loan from Italian giants Inter Milan last year, still has the quality to play for the country.
“He’s been playing regularly for the past three weeks. When I was in the United States on vacation, I watched him play once for Parma,” supersport.com quoted the Nigeria coach as saying of the player, who has 11 caps for Nigeria at senior level.
“I am happy for him but it is still too early for me to say if he will make it (to Brazil) or not, because he’s been out for almost two years but we’ll see how it goes.”
Keshi lamented the injury, which has denied Obi a chance to contribute to his team’s success.
The former Eagles captain said, “When I first took over (as Nigeria coach), Obi was one of the players I wanted to build the team around.
“I feel so sorry for the kid because more often than not, he’s been injured.
“I tried to help him and spoke to him a lot but after a while, you feel like giving up because you know what the footballer is going through at that period.
“He wasn’t playing (for Inter) at that time because of the injury and I made him understand that I wanted him back.
“I knew he was going the extra mile to return to full fitness. Whenever he was nearing fitness, the injury would become even more complicated than it was before.”