Ghana assistant coach Ibrahim Tanko says he sides with Schalke 04 left-back Baba Rahman who has asked for some time away from international duty to regain full fitness after a long-term injury.
The 24-year-old only played his first competitive game in May due to a terrible knee injury picked up while on duty the Black Stars at the Africa Cup of Nations in January 2017.
Originally expected back in action after seven months, a series of complications prolonged his return until the final matchday of last season’s German Bundesliga.
“I don’t think it is a bad idea to give him some time off,” Tanko told Goal.
“He’s been injured for almost one-and-a-half years – since the Afcon – so we cannot force him to come and play again.
“We have to give him the chance to concentrate on his club, get more confidence – like the way Kwadwo Asamoah did.
“We’re still in contact with him and we speak almost every week or two to see how he’s doing.
“Later on, if he gets a free mind and he is injury-free, we’ll sit down again with him and come to a better conclusion for both of us.”
Tanko also revealed being in close contact with the Tamale-born.
“I spoke to Baba after their first league game,” Tanko continued.
“I visited him not so long ago after he started training. And when I went back for a congress recently, we also met as his team came around for a friendly game.
“I was very happy to see him play the full-time of their first game. It has been a long time. I was there when he picked up the injury at the Afcon where I was a scout for Ghana.
“It was painful seeing him that way.”
At Schalke on loan from Chelsea, Baba has made two league appearances for the Royal Blues so far this season.
“I hope that he gets a free head to play because when you get back from injury like this, you always think about what could happen if I get injured again,” Tanko added.
“I know his coach [Domenico Tedesco] very well as a motivator, so I’m sure he’s going to psyche him up, so that anytime he gets the chance to play, he proves himself.
“We know that Baba is a good player and we only hope that he stays fit to be able to continue.”