Nyasa Big Bullets’ successful defence of the TNM Super League title faces a big challenge as eight of their key players are on the injury list.
Bullets Coach Kalisto Pasuwa has admitted being a worried man as he continues his desperate search for replacements.
Pasuwa could not hide his frustration with the rising number of injured players in his camp Wednesday, with versatile defender Precious Sambani scheduled to undergo an operation.
Sambani picked a knee injury about two weeks ago during Bullets’ 2-0 win over Ekwendeni Hammers.
Pasuwa said a Magnetic Resonance Imaging scan on the 23-year-old Malawi international has revealed that he damaged his anterior cruciate ligament and suffered a partial tear to his meniscal in the 13th minute of the match.
“Sambani is required to go for surgery and he will definitely be out of action for six months or so. As a coach, I am saddened by this setback to his career. We will certainly miss his services in the team. But this is inevitable in football and we can only wish him a quick recovery,” he said.
Other players such as captain John Lanjesi, midfielder Aziz Mwakifuna and attacker Righteous Banda have missed a good part of the season as they are yet to recover from injuries.
Bullets’ woes were further compounded last weekend with four key players joining the injury list during their 2-1 win over Mighty Tigers at Kamuzu Stadium in a Super League match on Sunday.
The four are defenders Gomezgani Chirwa and Yamikani Fodya, midfielder Ernest Petro and veteran striker Chiukepo Msowoya.
Pasuwa said Preliminary reports indicate that Petro suffered a shoulder injury and was due for an assessment yesterday.
“Chirwa sprained the lateral ligament on his right ankle and is likely to be out of action for two weeks. Fodya has a thigh injury and will be out for a week while Msowoya is also out after sustaining a hamstring injury. It is a very tough season for us. We have been losing players to injuries in each and every game. The four players who picked injuries on Sunday against Tigers did not come to training as they are meeting our doctors.
“I am waiting to hear from the doctors. For now, I am not sure about the extent of their injuries. It’s sad that we keep on losing players when the league has reached a boiling point. We definitely need some reinforcements,” Pasuwa said.
He was, however, positive that the remaining players will carry the team forward in the second round of the title race where Bullets are level on 39 points with Silver Strikers.
The latest medical update also reveals that midfielder Righteous Banda, who was ruled out for the entire season and is currently undergoing rehabilitation, is doing well with his pain subsiding.
Meanwhile, Bullets are hoping that goalkeeper Ernest Kakhobwe will be taken off the injury list after joining the Malawi National Football Team camp training for the friendly against Tanzania on Sunday.
Bullets are second in the Super League with 39 points from 19 matches.