BY Kevin Mapasure
THE Warriors’ technical team is sweating over the fitness of midfielder Marvelous Nakamba, who picked up a knee injury while featuring for his club Aston Villa in a match against Liverpool on Saturday.
Zimbabwe has already lost Marshall Munetsi and Brendon Galloway to injuries while Tendai Darikwa excused himself for ‘personal’ reasons.
Yesterday, Villa manager Steven Gerrard revealed that Nakamba, who has been enjoying a rich vein of form, suffered a knee injury and after the scan, he would need to be examined by a specialist today.
“Yes (he’s out) unfortunately,” Gerrard said.
“He received an injury in the game against Liverpool and we sent him for an MRI scan which has come back and it’s not good news, so the idea is to send him to a specialist on Tuesday,” Gerrard said as he addressed the media ahead of tonight’s match against Norwich.
“We’ll know more in terms of the damage in terms of what we need to do moving forward.
“The news sitting here right not is not good regarding Marvelous who’s been outstanding in his performances so far. He’ll see a specialist on Tuesday.”
Warriors coach Norman Mapeza will be following developments with keen interest ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals that will be played in Cameroon starting next month.
The Warriors are expected go into camp this month.
If Nakamba was to be ruled out, it would come as a big blow considering that another key player, Munetsi will not take part.
Munetsi was the first to be ruled out of the tournament last week after he aggravated an injury on his first match on return from a long lay-off.
The Stade Reims player made a winning return from a long injury setback when he took part in his team’s 2-1 win over Tino Kadewere’s Lyon, but it came at a huge cost for him.
He has been ruled out for about two months.
Darikwa, who last played for the Warriors in a World Cup qualifier away to Ghana on October 9, before missing the team’s three subsequent qualifiers, due to family reasons, has once again asked to be excused for the Afcon tournament.
The rightback who plays for League One club Wigan Athletic in England, was part of the squad that featured at the 2019 Egypt tournament, where he started in all the team’s three group stage matches.
Galloway, who plays for Plymouth Argyle, picked a horrific injury in his team’s match against Wycombe last week. The 25-year-old former Everton player had surgery on Wednesday after dislocating his kneecap.
His coach Ryan Lowe, who has offered the leftback a new 18-month contract as he recovers from the serious injury, confirmed that he will miss the rest of the season, including the Afcon finals.
Galloway was out of contract in January, having joined the English third tier club on a short-term deal in July.
The three were part of the Warriors’ provisional 40-man squad that was submitted to the Confederation of African Football (Caf) last week.
The Warriors are in Group B alongside Senegal, Malawi and Guinea. They will open their Afcon finals campaign on January 10 against the Lions of Teranga.
But the team’s preparations ahead of the tournament remains in limbo as the war between the suspended Zifa board and the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) rages on.
Last week Mapeza was appointed coach by the Zifa secretariat, but the board dismissed the appointment as null and void.
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