Kampala — "So you decided to leave the team to us!" Brian Umony accused Geoffrey Massa.
"Brian," Massa countered, "I had to. It was long coming. I had to leave. It was the right time; right time for me, and for my family.
"I needed to concentrate on club football, but also most importantly to have more time with my family."
Umony, a sly smile escaping his bearded face, seemed not convinced. "Now who is going to score the goals?"
"You," came back Massa, the response as if pre-recorded, "I know you will come back stronger and score the goals.
"There is you, Emma (Okwi), Miya (Farouk) and many others. I know you are a strong man and you will come back stronger and play for Cranes again."
Massa, the former Uganda Cranes captain who recently called time on his decade-plus career after scoring 29 goals for the national team - 13 of them coming from Nations Cup and World Cup qualification - was visiting Umony at the striker's home in Namugongo.
Umony is recovering from a knee surgery, which was a follow-up to a major operation on his broken foot last year.
He broke his lower leg in a collision with an opposition goalkeeper while playing for St George of Ethiopia in a league match February 2016.
This latest corrective knee operation, done on March 30 this year, was to repair the damaged upper knee ligaments, which process was done organically to allow for natural healing.
"The doctors told me I should be back on my feet playing in five months, but I'm expected to be walking without much of the crutches by end of this month," Umony told Daily Monitor.
What next for Massa?
Umony, 28, is already practicing to exert some weight on his knee by walking about the house and walking his army of young German Shepherds outside.
The player, who scored in the 2-0 victory over Botswana - together with Massa - as Uganda started the 2017 Nations Cup qualification campaign at Namboole, last played competitive football last year in February.
While Umony will be looking for a new club after his contract with St George expired during his injury, Massa has secured a two-year deal with Yenicami, a Northern Cyprus club he once distinctively played for.
"I travel in June to prepare for a new season with them," said Massa, "I'm looking forward."