BY FORTUNE MBELE
FORMER Soccer Star of the Year, Danny “Deco” Phiri, has fully recovered from an injury sustained last year and is slowly getting integrated back into his South African Premier League club Lamontville Golden Arrows in a development that would excite the Warriors technical team.
Deco, voted the best player in the local league in 2015, suffered a knee injury in August last year, and has been sidelined ever since.
However, the midfielder has started playing again and has featured in Arrows’ last two league matches, including a 2-0 win over Orlando Pirates on Tuesday evening.
The combative and no nonsense midfielder was introduced 10 minutes after the break as his team tried to protect its first-half lead. They went on to score another goal for a comfortable 2-0 home victory.
He had also played the last 25 minutes of his club’s clash against Maritzburg United at the weekend, with the Warriors star again introduced to shut the door for Abafana Besthende who had taken a 2-1 lead.
Phiri said he was elated to be back in action.
“It’s good to be back on the field and getting a feel of playing again. For now, I just want to stay injury-free and focus on getting some game time for myself and helping the team reach its targets,” Phiri said.
His return from injury would be good news to the Warriors technical team led by Zdravko Logarušic.
He will look to provide more options to the defensive midfield position, a department that looked short in the team’s last match, an Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against Algeria.
Without Marshall Munetsi who was also out injured, Logarušic was forced to improvise with Ovidy Karuru at the base of the midfield.
To his credit, the former Masvingo United man did exceptionally well in the unfamiliar role.
Phiri last played for the Warriors at the 2019 Afcon finals in Egypt. He still believes he has a lot more to offer to the nation if given the opportunity.
“Zimbabwe is my country and I love it. If called up I would gladly answer the call, but for now I am just focused on getting some game time and get my fitness up,” the former Warriors’ skipper who turns 32 in two months’ time said.
The star sustained an injury at Ellis Park Stadium on August 21 in a game against Black Leopards during the remainder of the 2019/20 season.
He is one of the four Zimbabweans that play for Golden Arrows together with Knox Mutizwa, Devine Lunga and goalkeeper Edmore “ZiKeeper” Sibanda.
Lunga and Mutizwa have been regulars for their side, with the latter scoring the winning goal against Maritzburg United while the former was voted man-of-the match in the same match.
Lunga has been the most impressive of the four this term.
His superb performances has seen him linked with a move to giants Mamelodi Sundowns. Sibanda is yet to feature for the club this season.
on Twitter @fmbele