Big Bullets have suffered a blow ahead of next week’s Carlsberg Cup final against Be Forward Wanderers as sweeper Sankhani Mkandawire has been ruled out for three weeks through injury.
Mkandawire, a mainstay in the Bullets’ defence, was put on Plaster of Paris (POP) Tuesday after under-going an X-ray at the Seventh-Day Adventist Hospital in Blantyre.
“Sprained right ankle… needs rest for healing,” reads Mkandawire’s medical report from doctor, Chimphambano.
Mkandawire, whose presence stabilised the Flames’ defence during a 1-0 win over Uganda on July 6, could also miss the national team’s away Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Swaziland this September 6.
The sweeper said he sprained his ankle ligaments after landing awkwardly during a training session at the College of Medicine Sports Complex ground while preparing for a Carlsberg match against Silver Strikers’ Reserve.
“It seems I aggravated the injury when I played against Silver on Saturday. I am out of the final, but I can assure the Bullets’ family that the rest of the defenders will play even better,” he said.
Bullets’ technical director, Billy Tewesa, took Mkandawire for the medical examination Tuesday and he too, refused to press the panic button.
“This break will give him time to fully recover. Such things happen in football. Our opponents might start celebrating that Sankhani is out, but they could be in for a shock result. They will be celebrating their own misery,” Tewesa insisted.
As we went to press, Mkandawire was delivering his medical report to FAM for him to be excused from the Flames’ squad tuning up for Swaziland.
The Flames’ central defence has of late been the weakest link. Mkandawire’s injury and the inactivity in South Africa of defender Limbikani Mzava should be food for thought for Flames’ coach Ernest Mtawali.
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