WARRIORS' inspirational captain Tapiwa Kapini is doubtful for Zimbabwe's first leg final round qualifier of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations against Angola after sustaining an ankle injury at his Absa premiership side AmaZulu's training session last week.
Kapini, who is also the captain of AmaZulu, told Standardsport that doctors had advised him that it might take six to eight weeks before he could kick the ball again.
"I twisted my ankle on Wednesday at Amazulu's training session and went for a scan on Thursday. The ultra sound scan revealed that I have torn ligaments in the ankle and it will require six to eight weeks to heal," he said.
The 27-year-old said doctors would advise him if it would be alright for him to play for Zimbabwe in the game against Angola, which he said seemed highly unlikely.
"I talked to the doctor who told me that he will put the ankle in a brass boot. He said if there is an improvement, he might clear me to play for the Warriors. Not playing for the Warriors is going to be very difficult for me so I hope to have fully recovered," he said.
With just three weeks before the crunch tie against the Angolans, Kapini's likely absence is going to present coach Rahman Gumbo with a headache.
The continued suspension of Pretoria University goalkeeper Washington Arubi over match-fixing allegations leaves Gumbo with the choice of choosing from Dynamos' George Chigova, Motor Action's Marlon Jani, Highlanders' Ariel Sibanda and Chicken Inn's Njabulo Nyoni for a possible replacement.
However, for all their talents, the above goalkeepers lack the experience that Kapini possesses and his ability to command his goal area.
Gumbo, who is set to announce the final squad this week, said the team's doctor, Nick Munyonga, would have the final say on whether Kapini will be unfit for the Angola tie.
"The team's doctor is best placed to comment on that. Obviously every coach would need all the best players for such matches."
Zimbabwe and Angola lock horns first on the weekend of September 7 to 9 with the second leg being played on the weekend of October 12 to 14.