Injury worries for Highlanders

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Mandla-Mpofu

BY FORTUNE MBELE

HIGHLANDERS have been rocked by injuries as they go in search of their second win in the current edition of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League, where they face winless Bulawayo City at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday.

Striker Ray Lunga has been ruled out with an ankle injury, while coach Mandla “Lulu” Mpofu is also concerned about vice-captain Nqobizitha Masuku, Stanley Ngala and Rahman Kutsanzira, Adrian Silla and defender Chrispen Ncube as they are all doubtful starters against City.

Mpofu is hoping some or all of them will pass a late fitness test.

The Bulawayo giants got off to their first win on Sunday, beating WhaWha 2-0, and are yet to score in open play in four games and if all the injured players are out on Sunday, it will be a big blow for Mpofu and Highlanders fans.

“We have Ray (Lunga) on the injury list with an ankle problem. We hope he joins the rest of the guys after one week. Chris (Ncube) is back with a little pain after an ankle injury. Rahman (Kutsanzira) is back after he felt dizzy and was substituted during our last game, but he started training with the others. There is also little concern over (Adrian) Silla and Nqo (Masuku) with muscle pains and so is Stanley (Ngala) with a swollen ankle. But I am hopeful the medical team is working flat out to make sure these boys are fully fit by Sunday,” a worried Mpofu said.

His counterpart on Sunday, Philani “Beefy” Ncube is also hoping his side will rise after going four games without victory.

“Of course, it is worrying for a coach if you go four games without a win but it happens. I remember in 2008, Norman (Mapeza) lost his first four games but he went on to win the championship. It happens in football, what is important is; can we rise and come back to winning ways. But I think each game has its own plans. We will keep planning, not for Highlanders alone but we have to start somewhere,” Ncube said, adding that his side would survive relegation.

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