Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Blow for Warriors as knee injury rules Nakamba out of AFCON

Warriors and Aston Villa star Marvelous Nakamba has been ruled out of the 33rd AFCON finals slated for January next year in Cameroon due to a knee injury he sustained over the weekend.

Nakamba was injured when his side narrowly lost 1-0 to Liverpool at Anfield Stadium last week Saturday.

He was substituted in the second half of the match due to what looked like a groin injury, in what was his fifth consecutive start and Villa’s second defeat since the arrival of Steven Gerrard.

Nevertheless, Gerrard confirmed during a pre-match interview on Monday that the player suffered a serious injury which is subject to a MRI scan before the decision on his injury was made in 48-hours.

The central midfielder was not in Villa’s matchday squad which beat Norwich City 2-0 yesterday because of the serious knee injury.

He then personally confirmed the injury as well as the length he will be out of action in an exclusive interview with the state-owned newspaper, H-Metro.

“I am out for about two months. It’s a set back but I will come back stronger,” the former Club Brugge player said.

His injury comes as a huge set back in his career, especially at a time when he was at the peak of his form.

He seemed to have fitted well in Gerrard’s team especially by commanding a regular jersey in the middle of the park alongside John McGinn.

However, the Villa star’s injury is more unbearable for the Warriors who are currently under the guidance of interim coach Norman Mapeza who is set to take them to Cameroon.

But with less than 30 days left to the finals so far, Mapeza has lost a number of key players ahead of the continental football tournament.

Nakamba officially becomes the third Warriors regular player set to miss the much coveted AFCON competition due to an injury.

This comes after France based Marshall Munetsi and UK based Brendan Galloway were recently confirmed to be out.

The pair sustained injuries few weeks ago as they were playing for their respective clubs and will be absent in Cameroon.

Apart from the ruled out trio of Munetsi, Nakamba and Galloway, the pair of right back Tendayi Darikwa and Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Khama Billiat will also not make it to Cameroon.

Darikwa reportedly excused himself from the squad while Billiat hanged his boots after he surprisingly announced his retirement from international football.

However, Warriors manager Wellington Mpandare revealed there are some frantic efforts to lure the ex-Warriors poster boy to come out of his retirement only to play his last AFCON tournament.

All the five players who have been ruled out ahead of the finals were on the 40 member squad list that was submitted by ZIFA to continental football governing body, CAF in November. Nehanda Radio