Ideye replaces Mikel

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Nigeria have called up uncapped Brown Ideye to replace John Obi Mikel in their squad for the World Cup after the Chelsea midfielder was ruled out of the tournament due to injury.

Brown, 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 coach Lars 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 rather than the knee problem team co-ordinator, Emmanuel Attah, had earlier blamed. "Mikel suffered a bruise to his ankle and a scan showed that he will not recover on time," Peterside told

He added: "The coach has now decided to call up Brown Ideye to replace him."

Mikel has been closely monitored since joining his team-mates at their pre-tournament training camp on the outskirts of London a week ago, with Lagerback repeatedly giving reassurances over his fitness.

The 23-year-old, who has been struggling to shake off a knee problem after undergoing surgery in recent weeks, was rested in a game against Colombia over the weekend and his national coach explained "there was nothing wrong, but it was just a precaution".

Yesterday, Mikel trained fully with the rest of the squad for the first time since they arrived at their World Cup base in Durban.

His injury will be a massive blow for the Super Eagles ahead of their tournament opener against Argentina next Saturday.

Replacement Ideye is yet to play for the Super Eagles at senior international level, but has impressed during his time with the Under-20s, who he helped reach the quarter-final of the 2007 World Cup in Canada.

The Nigerians wrap up their preparations for the finals with a friendly against North Korea in Johannesburg on Sunday.

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