Injury dampens Deco’s spirit

Warriors midfielder Danny “Deco” Phiri (pictured) is dreading the prospect of missing the team’s Group G Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier away in Congo Brazzaville next year, as he battles to recover from an injury sustained in September.


Deco suffered an Achilles tendon injury during training at Golden Arrows.

Initial diagnosis revealed that he might not be in action until June, and with the Warriors travelling to Congo-Brazzaville three months later, he fears his position in the team is not guaranteed.

The former Chicken Inn star was in the country for the Christmas holidays and opened up about his fears of missing the qualifier.

He spoke to NewsDaySport before his departure on Wednesday, where he revealed he might start kicking the ball again in March.

“It (the injury) has been a major setback for me and to think that the Warriors will be playing in the Afcon qualifiers against Congo and I may not be part of the team disappoints me. I have been training on the sidelines and doing physiotherapy. Doctors have said I should be patient. They have said maybe I might start playing in March. I am hoping that I will get well sooner,” Phiri said.

The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body connecting the heel bones to the calf muscle and injury is common in various sporting disciplines ranging from the big chunk of tissue being partly torn or completely ruptured.

Phiri was part of the Warriors squad that routed Liberia 3-0 in the Group G Afcon qualifying opener at the National Sports Stadium in June, when Belgium-based Knowledge Musona grabbed a hat-trick.

The result saw Zimbabwe topping the group which also has the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which currently occupy second position.

Top two teams from the group automatically qualify for the Afcon finals to be held in Cameroon in 2019.

The Warriors team, which featured the likes of Thabani Kamusoko, Teenage Hadebe, Ovidy Karuru, Partson Jaure, Tendai Ndoro, Kuda Mahachi and goalkeeper George Chigova among others, was coached by Norman Mapeza, who has since been replaced by Sunday Chidzambga.

After Congo, Zimbabwe have back-to-back matches against group favourites DRC in October, before a trip to Liberia in November.

They conclude their campaign at home to Congo in March 2019.


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