Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
A HAMSTRING injury has ruled out striker Prince Dube from the Warriors’ vital Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers against Botswana and Zambia in about three weeks’ time.
Dube, who turns out for Azam in the Tanzanian league, pulled a hamstring in his side’s goalless draw against log anchors Mwadul on Saturday.
The Zimbabwe international, who scored an equaliser in the Warriors’ last Afcon qualifier against their group leaders Algeria which ended 2-2 last November, expressed his disappointment at missing out on national duty at such a decisive moment.
“I don’t know the gravity of the injury as yet, but I pulled a hamstring on Saturday in the 27th minute. It is disappointing, but that’s the nature of the game,” said Dube.
The former Highlanders striker joins a list of Warriors players doubtful for the must-win Afcon qualifiers.
Kaizer Chiefs’ Khama Billiat has been on the sidelines since January, nursing a leg injury. Billiat cracked a bone on his left leg, but has since resumed light training.
Also in the treatment room is Orlando Pirates forward Terrence Dzvukamanja, who has been nursing an ankle knock, while defensive midfielder Butholezwe Ncube of AmaZulu has just recovered from an unknown injury and has been working on regaining his fitness.
Luton Town right-back Brendan Galloway is reportedly undergoing rehabilitation following a 12-month injury layoff with a fractured kneecap.
With Dube now definitely out, the Warriors’ technical staff will be hoping that nothing happens to France-based Tinotenda Kadewere, Bulawayo Chiefs’ Farau Matare, Knox Mutizwa of Lamontville Golden Arrows and SuperSport United forward Evans Rusike as well as skipper Knowledge Musona.
Musona returned from a lengthy injury a week ago and played 70 minutes for his Belgian side KAS Eupen in in their 2-0 away win at Sint-Truiden.
It’s not clear if David Moyo of Hamilton Academical and Admiral Muskwe of Wycombe Wanderers will travel for the games.
Goalkeepers: Talbert Shumba (Nkana), Tatenda Mkuruva (Michigan Stars), Ariel Sibanda (Highlanders), Martin Mapisa (Zamora CF)
Defenders: Jordan Zemura (AFC Bournemouth), Jimmy Dzingai (Nkana), Alec Mudimu (Ankaraspor), Teenage Hadebe (Yeni Malatyaspor), Divine Lunga (Lamontville Golden Arrows), Tendai Jirira (Detroit City), Tendayi Darikwa (Wigan Athletic), Brendan Galloway (Luton Town), Victor Kamhuka (Royal Malaysia Police), Romario Matova (NK Solin), Peter Muduwa (Simba SC), Carlos Mavhurume (Caps United), Shadreck Nyahwa (Bulawayo Chiefs)
Midfielders: Marshall Munetsi (Stade de Reims), Marvelous Nakamba (Aston Villa), Butholezwe Ncube (Amazulu), Ovidy Karuru (Black Leopards), Khama Billiat (Kaizer Chiefs), Tafadzwa Rusike (Zesco United), Brian Banda (FC Platinum), King Nadolo (Dynamos), Kudakwashe Mahachi (SuperSport United), Thabani Kamusoko (Zesco United), Knowledge Musona (KAS Eupen), Tatenda Tavengwa (Harare City), Tanaka Chinyahara (Red Arrows)
Strikers: Terrence Dzvukamanja (Orlando Pirates), Tinotenda Kadewere (Olympique Lyonnais), David Moyo (Hamilton Academical), Admiral Muskwe (Wycombe Wanderers), Farau Matare (Bulawayo Chiefs), Knox Mutizwa (Lamontville Golden Arrows) Evans Rusike (SuperSport United), Prince Dube (Azam). — @ZililoR