Cranes lead striker Geoffrey Massa will need a 'miracle of sorts' to be fully fit for next month's explosive Nations Cup qualifier against Zambia.
The Cyprus-based forward underwent surgery on a troublesome knee injury two weeks and the rehabilitation process virtually rules him out of even the upcoming friendly against Malawi on August 15.
"I will start light training on August 10, so the Malawi game will be too soon for me. I will need time to fully assess my knee and be certain of competing well," Massa told Newvision on phone yesterday.
The Cranes assemble today for their first session in preparation for next week's friendly in Blantyre with Massa among four strikers expected to spearhead the team's attack against The Flames. Emmanuel Okwi, Brian Umony and HamisKiiza are the other strikers.
"I also don't think I will be fit for the game against Zambia away. The best option for me would be to rest and prepare for the return. I will discuss with the coach (Bobby Williamson) and he will advise me on the right decision to take," Massa added.
If Massa does not travel to Ndola, Cranes will miss the services of a striker who has been a revelation in the last couple of months for both club and country.
In 24 league appearances for Cyprus side Yenicami last season, Massa hit the back of the net 29 times, a superb return from a player, who had struggled to register half that number in the Egyptian league with El Masry and later El-tihad in the lower tier a couple of seasons ago.
In June, Massa tore the net when he struck Cranes' third in a the 4-0 win over Congo Brazzaville.
Friendly, August 15
Malawi v Uganda
Nations Cup qualifier September 9
Zambia v Uganda