Yakubu plans Super Eagles return

Nigeria and Everton striker Yakubu Ayegbeni has targeted next month's World Cup qualifiers to make his return from injury.

The Nigerian Team

The 26-year-old has been out of action since rupturing his Achilles tendon in November.

Everton's FA Cup final against Manchester United will come too soon for the Nigerian. Instead he is focussing on Nigeria's matches at home to Kenya and away to Tunisia.

"June's World Cup qualifiers are the target for me and by the special grace of God, I'll be back to help the national team," the Super Eagle told BBC Sport. "I hope to start kicking a ball again either this month or next, which I'm looking forward to."

Yakubu has missed only one World Cup qualifier for Nigeria but has largely sat out one of Everton's great seasons of recent years.

"It is frustrating to watch because as a player, you want to be playing," the 'Yak' explained. But there's nothing you can do.

"It's a great feeling to watch the boys play because they're doing so well and I'm unlucky I got injured but that's football," he added.

While Yakubu's team-mates prepare for a first FA Cup final in fourteen years, the Nigerian is a constant presence in the gym.

"The days are boring at the moment for when you're on a bike, it's incredibly dull because you're just sitting in the same place pedalling.

"Then you go home where you can't do anything - you're with your crutches, people are kindly doing things for you but it's very, very frustrating."

Helping channel Yakubu's energy is the prospect of competing in not only Africa's first World Cup but his own as well.

Nigeria failed to qualify for the 2006 finals, and Yakubu was not among the 23-man squad chosen by Coach Adegboye Onigbinde four years earlier.

Nigeria host Kenya on the weekend of June 6 to 7 before travelling to Tunisia a fortnight later.