Stoke City striker Mamady Sidibe has asked to be left out of the Mali squad for the upcoming African Cup of Nations, as he continues his recovery from a long-term knee injury.
The 30-year-old wants to focus on his career with the Potters, having made three starts in recent weeks for Tony Pulis' side.
Sidibe told The Sentinel:"I have had a chat with the Mali manager and given him my opinion.
"I have just come back from the injury and I think it would be too much for me to go and play there.
"Also, I have just come back into the team here and I want to carry that on and keep fit.
"I missed all the qualification games for the national team and so I don't think it would be fair to go like that.
"The (Mali) manager understands my view and at the moment he is all right about it."