Bad news for Nakamba, Warriors

Marvelous Nakamba

Marvelous Nakamba is facing months out with a knee injury, making him a doubt for the Warriors’ World Cup qualifying ties against Lesotho and South Africa in June.Zimbabwe is set to host Lesotho on June 3 before travelling to South Africa seven days later in a Group C of the qualifiers on the road to the 2026 Canada/Mexico/USA World Cup finals.

But the Warriors could be without their captain for the two crucial fixtures as Nakamba is not expected to be back in action any time soon as he continues to recover from an injury, according to his Luton boss Rob Edwards.

The 30-year-old has been out of action since late December after damaging his meniscus in training, his last appearance for the English Premier League side coming in the 2-1 home defeat against Manchester City at Kenilworth Road.

The midfielder has undergone an operation to repair the problem, but Edwards does not expect to see him back any time soon. Giving the latest update on his progress at the weekend, Edwards said: “It’s not great, it’s quite a significant one. We still don’t know on the time but it’s months, it is months.

“It was his meniscus, so he had to have an operation on that. It was a real innocuous one in training, he just passed the ball and it’s such a shame. It’s a real hard one, for him first as he’s so important to us. You don’t want anyone injured, but it’s just I love seeing his smiley face around all the time at the training ground and when he’s in there (treatment room), he’s still smiling but you can just see it’s hurting him that he can’t get out there and train. We’ll do everything we can to make sure we support him and get him back as quickly as possible. When that is, right now, I don’t know, but it will be a couple more months I think at least.”

Nakamba captained the Warriors squad in the team’s two opening World Cup qualifiers against Rwanda and Nigeria late last year when Zimbabwe picked two points.The then Baltemar Brito-coached side drew nil-all away to Rwanda before playing to a one-all stalemate at “home” to the Super Eagles.

Zimbabwe was forced to host Nigeria in Rwanda as the country does not  have a Confederation of African Football approved stadium to stage international matches.The Warriors who are coach-less at the moment after the Zifa Normalisation Committee decided against renewing Brito’s contract when it expired on December 31, are fifth on a six-team Group C log standings.

Rwanda leads the table with four points, followed by South Africa, who have three points, while Nigeria, Lesotho and Zimbabwe have two points apiece after two rounds of matches.Benin anchor the standings with one point.

The Zifa Normalisation Committee is now expected to appoint the Warriors coach to take charge of the June qualifiers, with reports suggesting that Dynamos gaffer Genesis Mangombe who was Brito’s assistant is set to be given the tough job.

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