BY HENRY MHARA
WARRIORS star King Nadolo has been ruled out for up to three weeks with an injury that he picked last week and the team’s technical team is hopeful that the attacker will have fully recovered by the time that the African Nations Championships (Chan) starts early next month.
The tournament, exclusively for players that play in the domestic league, start on January 16 and ends on February 7 in Cameroon.
Nadolo, one of the big names in the squad, was on the end of a rough tackle during the team’s friendly match against Caps United last week which consigned him to crutches.
There were fears that the winger would not make the trip to Yaoundé as his ankle was swollen.
However, initial fears of an ankle fracture have been allayed with scan results showing that he only suffered muscle injuries.
“The injury is not too serious as we had feared,” Warriors physiotherapist Admire Nyamadzawo said.
“He has notable ankle swelling and injury to two muscles that pass through the ankle, the extensor hallucis longus and extensor digitorum longus. He is going to be out for at least three weeks,” he added.
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The Warriors squad is expected to break camp on Monday for a week and it is hoped that Nadolo would have recuperated and ready to resume training.
This is good news to Warriors coach Zdravko Logarušic, who is also sweating over the fitness of defender Partson Jaure and midfielder Nqobizitha Masuku who also picked injuries last week.
But the renowned physiotherapist said there is nothing much to worry about on the injuries of the duo which he described as “minor sprains.”
Jaure and Masuku got their ankles hurt in the friendly match against Yadah Stars on Saturday and they have missed subsequent preparatory matches.
The Warriors, who started the whirlwind of friendly matches with a game against Ngezi Platinum Stars, have also faced Manica Diamonds.
Yesterday, they played FC Platinum and are set to clash with Dynamos today as they intensify their preparations.
They will play Bulawayo Chiefs on Friday before facing Black Rhinos the following day.
Logarušic said he was using the friendly matches to pick his final squad while also giving players from the opposing teams a chance to impress and get a national team call-up.
Former captain Denver Mukamba has already made it after his impressive show for Ngezi Platinum Stars in the friendly match and has already joined camp.
Caps United’s quartet of Ronald Chitiyo, Richard Hachiro, Munyaradzi Diro-Nyenye and Tafadzwa Njaravani also did enough to convince the coach and were incorporated into the squad yesterday. To make space for the new players, Logarušic has chopped six players from his squad.
Those who have failed to impress and were released are Valentine Musarurwa, Valentine Kadonzvo, Collins Duwa, Phineas Bhamusi, Xolani Ndlovu and William Manondo.
Thirty-four players were initially called to camp, but the coach was forced to drop six FC Platinum players whose club is engaged in the Caf Champions League.
Logarušic is expected to name his final squad early next year for submission to Caf. The coach is hoping to play two more friendly matches next year before departure to the finals.
Zimbabwe is in Group A and will face Cameroon in the tournament opener. Burkina Faso and Mali are the other team that make up Group A. l Follow Henry on Twitter @henrymhara