(CNN) -- President Barack Obama, bound for South Africa on Friday, doesn't appear to be ruling out a visit to Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid icon in critical condition at a Pretoria hospital. "We'll see what the situation is when we land. I don't need a photo op and the last thing I want to do is to be in any way obtrusive at a time when the family is concerned with Nelson Mandela's condition," the president told reporters aboard Air Force One. "I think the main message we'll want to deliver if not directly to him but to his family is simply a profound gratitude for his leadership though all these years and that the thoughts and prayers of the American people are with him, his family and his country."
URGENT - South-Africa-Obama-MandelaPublished 2:45 AM HST Jun 28, 2013