Warriors’ winger Benjamin Marere is racing against time as he remains sidelined from the Warriors training session because of an ankle injury.
The Warriors entered their fourth day of training at Rufaro Stadium on Thursday as they prepare for the 2011 African Nations Championships (Chan) to be hosted by Sudan from February 4 to 25.
The former Dynamos winger, who is now with Northern Region Division One side Highfield United twisted his ankle after he clashed with crunch-tackling defender Arnold “Taiwo” Chivheya during a Wednesday training session at Rufaro.
The speedy winger, sporting a heavy bandage on his right foot, sat out training on Thursday and was closely monitored by Warriors physiotherapist Farai Muguwe.
Warriors team doctor Nicholas Munyonga said Marere’s injury is sensitive and they have decided to rest him so that he recovers adequately.
“He has a problem with his right angle. The injury is still acute and it needs two to three days of rest before he starts full treatment,” said Munyonga.
“We don’t want to rush him back into training and strain him unnecessarily, there is still time for him to recover and train with the rest of the squad.”
However, despite the injury, the Warriors technical team said Marere had equal chances of being included in the 23-man final squad that will be submitted to Zifa over the weekend.
Zifa wants the list of the players who will travel to Sudan by Sunday while the Confederations of African Football has set a January 24 deadline for all the 16 teams to submit their squads.
Ghana, which is in Group B, which also features Zimbabwe, Niger and South Africa, has already named their final 23-man squad.
“We know his capabilities; we have been working with him for a long time now. Besides, it’s a minor injury and it is our hope that he will recover as soon as possible. It’s not a big injury so it will not affect his position in the team. He still has equal chances of being selected into the final team,” assured Warriors assistant coach Darlington Dodo
Munyonga said Guthrie Zhokinyi and Qadr Amin who have been struggling with ankle injuries are now fully fit.
The two defenders were heavily involved during the team’s morning training session on Thursday with Under-23 captain Amin looking very impressive as he galloped forward to score a hat-trick in the 11-a-side inter-team training.
Away from Marere’s injury, the Warriors upped their training tempo yesterday with the technical team led by caretaker coach Madinda Ndlovu and his two assistant coaches Friday Phiri and Dodo trying out different combinations.
Dodo, who is also the Gunners head coach, said the morale was high in the camp and all the players are champing at the bit.
“We have a good pool of players in camp, everyone is happy and raring to go,” said the 2009 league championship winner.
He admitted that it would be very difficult for the technical team to select the final 23.
It’s always difficult for the coaches, especially with such kind of talent at our disposal.
All the players in camp are good although some will have to be dropped.
However, if a player is dropped it does not necessarily mean that he is not capable, his chance is coming.
It is also good for us to know that we have left good players behind who we can call back into the team at any time,” added Dodo.
Meanwhile, the Warriors have moved one place up in the Fifa/Coca-Cola world rankings from 119 to 118 and in Africa from 30 to 29, according to the latest rankings released on Wednesday.