FRANCE-based striker Tino Kadewere will not be available for the Warriors’ Africa Cup of Nations Group G double header next month against Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as he is yet to fully recover from the injury that also kept him from the team’s last qualifier.
BY HENRY MHARA
The 22-year-old, who joined French Ligue 2 side Le Havre AC in July this year is recuperating from a knee injury he suffered playing for old club Djurgårdens IF of Sweden.
Kadewere told NewsDaySport that his rehabilitation is going on well, and is close to full fitness.
But with the crucial back-to-back qualifier against DRC just 15 days away, he said the tie could have come a bit too early for him.
The Warriors travel to Kinshasa on October 13, before hosting the Congolese in Harare three days later in two matches that could well break or make Zimbabwe’s campaign.
“I’m still on rehabilitation, and I don’t think I can make the game,” Kadewere said.
The injury also forced him out of the Warriors’ last month match away to Congo Brazzaville where the Sunday Chidzambga-coached side managed to secure a 1-1 draw to retain their place at the top of Group G with four points.
He had not featured for the senior national team until at the Cosafa Cup in South Africa in June this year, where he was the star of the tournament for his team, scoring twice in the final against Zambia to help the Warriors retain the regional competition.
Another likely absence is striker Nyasha Mushekwi, who is also likely to miss the two matches due to “an injury” although he continues to play for his Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang. He scored a brace for his team on Saturday.
Costa Nhamoinesu, who was also forced out of the trip to Brazzaville because of a shoulder injury is back to full fitness.
The Czech Republic-based left-back played 90 minutes in each of Sparta Prague’s last two matches, including a 4-1 win over Slovan Liberec on Saturday.
Belgium-based Marvellous Nakamba started full training last week, and although he has not featured for his league side Club Brugge, he should be available for selection.
Ovidy Karuru, who picked an injury playing for the Warriors at the Cosafa Cup tournament, marked his long-awaited return to competitive football for his South African club Amazulu with a second-half appearance against Kaizer Chiefs at the weekend.
The match against DRC will be played in the evening, with a 7pm kick-off at the National Sports Stadium.
Chidzambga will also be desperate to have the United Kingdom-based duo of Tendayi Darikwa and Adam Chicksen available after they missed last month’s qualifier over passport issues.
DRC are likely to recall their stars Cedric Bakambu, one of the top goalscorers in the Chinese Super League, former Chelsea midfielder Gael Kakuta now with La Liga side Rayo Vallecano and FC Porto defender Chancel Mbemba, who were overlooked in the trip to Monrovia.
Everton’s Yannick Bolasie, Junior Kabananga of Astana and Stoke City forward Benik Afobe did not play for DRC in their last match, but there is no doubt they will be called to face the Warriors.
Congo Brazzaville and Liberia have a point each going into the third round of fixtures.