Nigeria international and Vitoria Setubal of Portugal midfield powerhouse Mikel Agu has lamented his injury-enforced absence from the senior national team scheduled to play the upcoming dead rubber AFCON 2019 qualifier against Seychelles as well as the international friendly against Egypt.

The 25-year old had been sidelined by a muscle injury since the beginning of February, a situation which made him to miss six consecutive Primeira Liga games for his side as well as shutting him out of the Super Eagles.

“I will be dishonest to say I wasn’t disappointed to miss the team,” the recuperating star told completesports.com from his Portugal base.

“Every player wants to play, especially to be privileged to wear the national shirt, so I felt really bad to miss out not because of loss of form but due to injury. It is a muscle injury and I need to rest it a lot. This would help me to heal faster and get back into shape.”

Despite the injury setback, Agu is optimistic of staging a comeback to the national team set up in time to make the AFCON final squad.

He said: “I cannot do anything about the injury but I can take positives from it.”

“I will put my head down and keep working hard both to recover and to get back into my role in the first team. A good run there will help my return to the Super Eagles but I must justify that I merit a call up. All I need to do is get down and work hard then we see what happens thereafter.”

Mikel was a last-minute omission from the Super Eagles team to the last World Cup in Russia 2018 but was back in the team and scored rave reviews in the international friendly against Uganda last November in Asaba.

Nigeria is set to face Seychelles on March 22 and Egypt four days later as the preparations for the AFCON get into gear.

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