Harambee Stars coach Sebastian Migne has cleared the air on why Belgium-based Kenyan international midfielder Johanna "Tosh" Omolo was sidelined in both matches against Ghana and Malawi despite reporting to camp.
Omolo, who turns out for Cercle Brugge in the Belgian top flight was among 24 players in camp, but sustained a muscle strain injury a day before Kenya beat Ghana 1-0 in a 2019 Group "F" Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers last Saturday at Kasarani stadium.
Fans were hopeful that the midfield maestro would recover on time to play Malawi on Tuesday in friendly, but was again left out of the match day squad as the side saw off the Flames 1-0 at the same venue.
Migne said he didn't want to risk the player since he has long term plans for him in upcoming assignments.
"If he would've worsened his injury in the games, he would've been out for at least three weeks and within a month before playing Ethiopia, he would've lacked the rhythm," explained Migne.
He added: "We need to take care of our team, I also need to follow him playing for his club. I know him a little bit more than some professional players because he is playing not far from my country (France). He is one part of the group for sure, but for the first eleven I don't know," added the 45-year-old Frenchman.
"I am sure the first eleven against Ghana will be different for the next game and maybe if we are lucky to qualify for Afcon, this is the life of football," he concluded.
The 29-year-old Omolo has been instrumental for his club since their promotion to the top-tier this season scoring a goal in six league appearances.
Cercle Brugge, also home to left-back Aboud Omar, is ranked eighth in the 16-team table with as many points from six rounds.
Both players reported back on Tuesday ahead of Saturday's league game away to KV Oostende.