Everton attacker Victor Anichebe is battling to catch the eye of Nigeria's selectors.
Super Eagles boss Steve Keshi insisted the powerful forward does feature in his plans but explained that he's waiting for the player to fully demonstrate his fitness.
"It is true that I said that invitation of the players would be by merit and current form alone and that it won't be by favouritism or sentiment," said Keshi.
"Anichebe had just played his second game for Everton when I made the list and this guy has been out for about a year.
"He had injury against Madagascar and he has been on and off playing 15 or 20 minutes and the first game he started was about two weeks ago."
This season Anichebe has three goals from seven appearances, showing glimpses of his best form.
"Honestly speaking, I would love to have him but at the same time I need to think about his career because he is just coming in," continued Keshi.
"He needs to slow down and get into shape before we bring him back. He is a very good player. We need him. We also need Obafemi Martins, Uche Kalu, Yakubu Aiyegbeni and other good players that we have around."