Nigerian midfielder JohnObi Mikel has been ruled out of the league game with Derby County in the English Championship this weekend. Rejuvenated Derby County will welcome Stoke City to Pride Park on Saturday evening in a week 18 clash without John Obi Mikel who has a calf problem. The absence of John Obi Mikel for the trip to face the Rams was confirmed by Stoke City manager Michael O'Neill during his pre-match press conference for the game.

John Obi Mikel, 33, played the first 14 league games of the new season in the English Championship before picking up the calf injury during the Sheffield Wednesday clash on matchday 14. The retired Super Eagles of Nigeria player was subbed off on 76 minutes during the game which ended in a goalless draw for Stoke City away from home.Jordan Cousins replaced John Obi Mikel for the final fourteen minutes of the game. John Obi Mikel has missed the last three games in the Championship as a result of the injury. Without him in the Stoke City team, the Potters won the first two games before they were stunned by Cardiff City at home.

In the first league game of the season without John Mikel Obi, Stoke City beat newcomers Wycombe Wanderers 1-0 away from home courtesy the strike from Nick Powell on 72 minutes before recording the same scoreline at home to Middlesbrough. Fullback Nathan Collins scored the only goal of that game. In their last game, Stoke City were stunned 2-1 at home by Welsh team Cardiff City. Cardiff City centre back Sean Morrison put through his own net to give the Potters a first half advantage before Robert Glatzel and Sean Morrison scored in ten second half minutes to give Cardiff City all the points. Stoke City would have moved into the play-off places with a win in that game.
John Obi Mikel signed for Stoke City as a free agent in the summer and has played 14 times in the league. In total, John Mikel Obi has made 15 appearances for Stoke City in all competitions this term.