Relief for DeMbare
INJURY-RAVAGED Dynamos became the biggest beneficiaries of the decision by authorities to postpone Castle Lager Premier Soccer League action this weekend to pave way for the Heroes Day celebrations matches slated for Monday.
BY HENRY MHARA
The Harare giants were scheduled to face How Mine today, but coach Lloyd Mutasa was set to travel with a weakened team due to injuries and illness in his squad.
DeMbare would have missed five key players for the tie.
Top striker Christian Ntouba is down with a groin injury, which forced him out of the team’s midweek win over Hwange.
The Wednesday match also saw young Cleopas Kapupurika picking an injury after he was cluttered on just five minutes into the match by Melvin Mekiwa, who was shown a straight red card for the challenge.
The exciting young midfielder had to be taken to hospital at half-time.
Left-back Carlos Rusere also limped off with an ankle injury, while defender Obey Mwerahari asked to be substituted at half-time, struggling with flu, which also kept Lincoln Zvasiya out of the midweek match.
Mutasa told NewsDay Weekender Sport that he was very worried about the growing list of injuries in his squad, as the season reaches its final stretch.
“It’s a worry when some of your best players pick injuries at this stage of the season. This is the time you need all the players to be available and try to win matches,” Mutasa, who had ruled the crew out of the How Mine match before the Premier Soccer League postponed this weekend’s matches, said.
The gaffer also gave an update on the injuries.
“Christian is receiving treatment and we won’t rush him back otherwise we will make the injury worse,” he said.
“We will continue to monitor him and hopefully he recovers soon. He is one player you would want to play in each and every match.”
Mutasa said Kapupurika had a swollen hip, but the injury was not as bad as initially feared.
“He was hit on the hip by a knee and it’s swollen. He is in pain, but it’s not as bad as we thought. He should be back next week. Carlos also picked an ankle injury.
“Lincoln has flu and he couldn’t play. He didn’t come for training (on Monday). Obey asked to be substituted because he was feeling cold. He also has flu,” he said.
Mutasa is pinning his hopes on the recovery of the players by the time the Premiership resumes next week.
Dynamos play Highlanders in the Heroes Day celebrations at the National Sports Stadium on Monday, a match that Mutasa is likely to use fringe players.
He could also use the game to assess the new arrivals in Jimmy Kanono, who signed from Shabanie Mine, Thembinkosi Simango, who joined from Ngezi Platinum, and Godfrey Mukambi, formerly of Tsholotsho.
Mutasa’s men are third on the log standings with 39 points, four behind log leaders Ngezi Platinum although the Harare giants have two games in hand.
They will resume the league programme with the match against How Mine next week, although some reports suggest that they will be travelling to Botswana to take part in a tournament that will also involve Highlanders.