Malawi National Football Team striker Gabadinho Mhango can now afford a smile after his South Africa DStv Premiership side Orlando Pirates announced his return in time for today’s Soweto derby against Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.
Mhango has been absent from Pirates’ line-up for over a month due to disciplinary issues following a nightclub incident.
The Buccaneers co-coach Mandla Ncikazi said Mhango is back in training and fighting hard for a place in the team’s starting line-up.
Ncikazi said also available for selection is Ben Motshwari who was arrested following allegations of domestic violence before the charges were later withdrawn.
“They are back with the team, they are training with the team and both hope they can make it to the final 18, or final 20. I wouldn’t want to dwell too much on what has happened. I just want to concentrate on their current status at the club,” he told kickoff.com.
Ncikazi said he was hopeful that the two stars will continue to add value to the club.
“They are both good players who have been part of this team for a long time. I am just praying their fitness gets to the right levels quickly because not only for this derby, but going forward there is a stage in December where there will be match after match.
“If we can’t use them in the derby, then we need them to be ready for the tight fixture schedule we are going to need to get through,” he said.
Pirates might have been compelled to bring back Mhango and Motshwari because of the absence of top stars Happy Jele, Thembinkosi Lorch and Innocent Maela through injury.
Flames Coach Meck Mwase described the return as good news.
“We were very concerned with Gaba’s situation at his club. There is need for him to play as many matches as possible ahead of the African Cup of Nations. We are therefore very excited with news about the return as it will improve his match fitness. We wish him well,” Mwase said.