BY FORTUNE MBELE
HIGHLANDERS’ new signing, Bukhosi Sibanda, is unlikely to feature in Highlanders’ first game of the season against Black Rhinos at the National Sports Stadium tomorrow as he is still recovering after he fractured his arm in January.
Sibanda, who joined Highlanders on a season’s loan from Bantu Academy after an unsuccessful stint with South Africa’s second-tier league side, Ubuntu Cape Town, sustained the injury just before Highlanders started their pre-season.
Highlanders’ chief executive officer, Nhlanhla Dube, yesterday confirmed Sibanda’s health status ahead of the team’s first game of the season.
“He (Sibanda) had a fracture and he is being monitored so that we keep pace with the healing and see whether he can be selected. He has been training, but he has not been involved in full contact. He has been training for the last week with the rest of the squad, but it has not been a game situation. We are still waiting for the final decision from the medical team, to say whether the healing is enough for him to be exposed to the rigours of a game situation. So he is still going through assessment,” Dube said.
The big boost for technical manager Madinda Ndlovu and his coaches Bekithemba Ndlovu and Mandla Mpofu is that striker Prince Dube and midfielder Nqobizitha Masuku have received their international transfer certificates on time, while Zambian striker Peter Nyirenda’s papers are now in order.
The three were part of a 27-member squad for the season that was announced by Bosso yesterday.
New signings Cleopas Kapupurika, Russell Chifura and Mbekezeli Sibanda, Devine Mhindirira and goalkeeper Wellington Muuya are all part of the squad.
Goalkeeper Eric Nyathi was promoted from Division One side, Bosso 90.
Goalkeepers: Wellington Muuya, Eric Nyathi, Ariel Sibanda
Defenders: Vincent Moyo, Peter Muduhwa, Bukhosi Ncube, Mbongeni Ndlovu, Tendai Ndlovu, MacClive Phiri, Charlton Siamalonga
Midfielders: Brian Banda, Munyaradzi Chitambwe, Denzel Khumalo, Nqobizitha Masuku, Ben Musaka, Adrian Silla
Strikers: Prince Dube, Cleopas Kapupurika, Ray Lunga, Tinashe Makanda, Godfrey Makaruse, Peter Nyirenda, Bukhosi Sibanda, Mbekezeli Sibanda
Under-19 developmental quota: Andrew Mbeba, Devine Mhindirira, Russell Chifura