Highlanders have suffered a major blow ahead of their blockbuster Castle Lager Premier Soccer League clash against archrivals Dynamos on Sunday, after striker Prince Dube was ruled out of the clash with a muscle injury that could sideline him for at least a month.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
Dube, who has scored three goals for his club in the league so far, limped off the pitch in considerable pain during the second half of Bosso’s drawn match against Chapungu at Ascot Stadium on Saturday.
The young attacker’s injury has left coach Erol Akbay a disturbed man and will sure be a sad piece of news for the table toppers’ fans.
While Akbay was due to get an update on the extent of the player’s injury late yesterday, he cast doubt over the player’s availability for this weekend’s battle with DeMbare.
“He pulled a muscle and he was in pain and from my experience most injuries of that nature can take five to six weeks, but I don’t know,” Akbaay told NewsDaySport. “I will hear from the doctor later today (yesterday), but it does not look good at all. He might be out like I said for five to six weeks and that means he might miss the Dynamos match.”
In May last year, the youthful striker was the hero of the day when Highlanders beat Dynamos in a league match for the first time since 2006.
He scored one and made the other for Bruce Kangwa as Bosso coasted to a 2-0 victory at Rufaro Stadium.
Dube has formed a good partnership with former Dynamos striker Rodreck Mutuma, who has assumed the role of provider.
The two combined well to score a goal apiece in Bosso’s 2-1 win over Tsholotsho two weeks ago, while Dube also scored against ZPC Kariba and Bulwayo City with Highlanders winning both matches.
In his absence, Nyoni could start against Dynamos on Sunday with the other options in foreigner Yves Ebabali and veteran Ralph Matema.
Akbay, however, has preferred to use the ageing Matema as an impact substitute.
The DeMbare-Bosso clash is likely to produce fireworks as both teams have their confidence high so far this season.
Dynamos’ start has been punctuated by ups and downs, but their win over Bosso, albeit via a penalty shootout, in the Independence Trophy last month would have given them the belief.
Highlanders, on the other hand, have looked sharper this season and have been picking up important wins that have taken them to the summit.
The match on Sunday is likely to be a big payday for Highlanders with a bumper crowd expected at Barbourfields.