China-based Zimbabwe international Nyasha Mushekwi is set to undergo surgery in Germany next month to rectify an ongoing pelvic injury.
The in-form 31-year-old had already been ruled of Zimbabwe’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers double-header against the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) later this month.
Mushekwi’s case had started to stir some controversy after he continued to feature for Dalian Yifang in the Chinese top flight, despite reports that his absence from the Warriors was due to a niggling pelvic problem.
Warriors manager Wellington Mupandare has, however, clarified that the former Mamelodi Sundowns man’s injury is too complicated for the Zimbabwean doctors to manage, hence his absence.
“Mushekwi is out for the DRC matches because of the same injury which kept him out of the Congo game [in September],” Mupandare told KweséESPN.
“He has been featuring for his club, yes, but that is only because they can manage his condition there, something our doctors said they cannot do here.
“Yifang are currently short of strikers and they have decided to manage his injury until the end of the Chinese season in about six weeks time, after which Nyasha will go for an operation in Germany.”
Mushekwi, who has 12 goals in 16 appearances for Yifang this term, is having to undergo a complicated pain relief procedure before every match in China, Mupandare added.
Then, in yet another setback for coach Sunday Chidzambwa, the Warriors camp was further rocked on Monday with news that SuperSport striker Evans Rusike suffered an ankle injury at the weekend, which also makes him unavailable for the DRC matches.
As things stand, Rusike’s injury has further reduced the options for Chidzambwa, who has since recalled Bidvest Wits’ new signing Terence Dzvukamanja as replacement.
The only other notable centre-forward in the Zimbabwe squad is the inexperienced Knox Mutizwa, while skipper Knowledge Musona has often played in that role at club level.
And while Mushekwi’s scheduled operation would also rule him out of the visit to Liberia next month, rising star Tino Kadewere could be available by then after making significant progress in his recovery from a knee injury.
The former Harare City man has started light training at Le Havre in the French second tier, with his comeback match set for next week.
Kadewere had scored eight goals in 12 matches for Djurgarden in the Swedish top-flight before injury disrupted his momentum in July. He still managed to move to Le Havre despite his inactivity, and Chidzambwa will be relieved to have him in the fold for the visit to Liberia.
Zimbabwe currently top Group G ahead of the DRC on goal difference in the race to qualify for the 2019 Afcon finals. The two rivals first clash in Kinshasa on October 13, with the return leg set for Harare three days later.