Warriors international striker Knowledge Musona has been ruled out of tomorrow’s international friendly match against Zambia as he needs time to adjust at new German Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim.
His new team kicked off the 2011/2012 season with a 2-1 away defeat to Hannover 96 at the weekend.
Musona completed a reported R16 million move from South African giants Kaizer Chiefs last week, but is not expected to make an early debut for his new team, although he made an immediate impression during trials.
The club’s official website reported ahead of the season-opener that the Zimbabwe international needed time to integrate.
The coach Holger Stanislawski did not even have a full squad to choose from for the game.
“Vedad Ibisevic recently suffered multiple muscle tearing in training, and joined Andreas Ibertsberger and Gylfi Sigurdsson (knee), Matthias Jaissle (Achilles tendon), Boris Vukcevic (shin), and Manuel Gulde (pelvis) on the injury list.
“New signing Knowledge Musona won’t be involved this weekend. Instead, the manager wants to give him the necessary time to integrate himself into the team,” the site read.
Yesterday, Warriors manager Sharif Mussa said Musona had asked to be excused.
“He asked to be excused as he is till settling in at his new club and the coach has agreed to that after consultations. Otherwise, the rest of the players are all expected in right now (yesterday at lunch), with the local players already in.
“Lincoln Zvasiya will arrive later today (yesterday) or tomorrow (today) as he is still on trials in South Africa,” Mussa said.
Some Zambian players, who ply their trade in South Africa, also jetted in at lunch yesterday.
In the absence of Musona, Edward Sadomba and Simba Sithole are now expected to lead the Warriors in the quest to win the match which will serve as a morale booster for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Liberia at home.
Coach Norman Mapeza has called in his strongest squad with most of the players likely to feature in the crucial Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Liberia on September 4 at Rufaro.
The Warriors lie in third place in Group A with five points after a single win, two draws and a loss against Mali.
After Liberia they face Cape Verde Islands in the last qualifier in October where a win, coupled by a loss by Mali against Liberia can guarantee Zimbabwe a place in the 2012 finals.
Skipper Method Mwanjali led the South African contingent that also included veteran goalkeeper Tapiwa Kapini, Tinashe Nengomasha, Knowledge Musona, Simba Sithole, Gilbert Mapemba and the duo of Willard Katsande and Khama Billiart.
Mamelodi Sundowns striker Nyasha Mushekwi is still serving his suspension after picking up two yellow cards in the previous qualifiers.
There were no places for defender Thomas Sweswe, who turns out for Kaiser Chiefs, and Justice Majabvi who played in the Warriors’ 2-1 win over Mali last month. Majabvi is also having trials at Kaizer Chiefs with Zvasiya.
T Kapini, W Arubi
M Mwanjali, D Vheremu,
T Khumbuyani, L Zvasiya,
K Billiat, O Karuru, C Sibanda,
E Mudzingwa, B Marere