23 September 2018

Zimbabwe: Mushekwi Scores in China, but Injured for Warriors

WARRIORS striker Nyasha Mushekwi will still miss next month's back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) football qualifying matches against the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) despite scoring a brace for his Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang yesterday.

The 31-year-old forward continued with his goal-scoring form with a goal either side of the half as his side secured a 2-1 victory over Shanghai Shenhua at the Dalian Sports Centre Stadium.

However, Warriors team manager Wellington Mpandare revealed that the in-form striker was playing with an injury and would yet again miss the upcoming back-to-back qualifiers against the DRC.

"Mushekwi is injured, he has been playing with the injury, but his club can manage the injury better than us," Mpandare said.

"We are not equipped to make him play through the pain, so it's difficult for us to include him in the team. I have been communicating with his team doctors and they say he is scheduled to go for surgery in Germany in the next few weeks."

Mushekwi pulled out of the Warriors' qualifier against Congo in Brazzaville recently after indicating he was injured, a view supported by the medical team of his Chinese club and local doctors, but went on to feature for Dalian Yifang a few days later.

Mpandare also revealed that defender Costa Nhamoinesu was also doubtful for the upcoming matches after aggravating a shoulder injury on his return for his Czech side Sparta Prague in their recent match after almost a month out of action.

"Sadly, Costa has a shoulder injury, he played for his team and he aggravated his injury in the game and he is likely going to miss the DRC tie, but we will continue monitoring the situation," he said.

There is also still no hope on the England-based trio of Adam Chicksen, Macauley Bonne and Tendayi Darikwa as they are yet to secure their Zimbabwean passports to make them eligible to feature for the Warriors in competitive matches.

However, Belgium-based midfield enforcer Marvelous Nakamba looks set to bounce back after recently returning to training.

The Warriors will first travel to Kinshasa for a date against the hosts on October 13 ahead of the reverse fixture at the National Sports Stadium three days later under floodlights.

The Congolese, who, just like the Warriors, have four points from their first two matches, announced a strong squad for the upcoming matches on Thursday.

The 35-man squad is headlined by the return of China-based striker Cedric Bakambu, who turns out for Beijing Sinobo Guoan, while former Chelsea winger Gael Kakuta, now with La Liga side Rayo Vallecano, also returns.

Standard Leige winger Paul-Jose Mpoku and Saudi-based goalkeeper Ley Matampi are also back after missing the trip to Liberia due to injury and club commitments respectively.

The Warriors technical department is expected to name the squad to prepare for the DRC ties this week.

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