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John Lanjesi returns after long layoff

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Peter Mponda

Malawi national football team captain, John Lanjesi, has recovered from his long injury layoff and is with his Nyasa Big Bullets teammates in Mangochi where they are camping in preparation for the new season which kicks off next month.

Lanjesi picked a knee injury last year and was ruled out after featuring in Bullets’ first five matches of the season.

The People’s Team sent him to Beit Cure International Hospital in Blantyre before completing his recovery process at College of Medicine.

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Bullets Team Doctor Felix Mwalule said he had given Lanjesi the go-ahead to make a full return to action after being satisfied with his condition.

“We worked hard from the time he sustained the injury to help him recover quickly and return to action. He has now fully recovered and is with his teammates in Mangochi for camp training. He is training normally just like any other player,” Mwalule said.

The former Civil Service United stalwart will have to work hard to get the nod ahead of fellow centrebacks such as youthful Nixon Nyasulu and seasoned Sankhani Mkandawire.

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Last season, Nyasulu used to partner Charles Petro and helped Bullets to lift the TNM Super League title.

Mkandawire took up Petro’s position after the latter signed for Sheriff Tiraspol FC of Moldova.

Meanwhile, Chiukepo Msowoya and Misheck Selemani did not travel with the team to the lakeshore district as they missed the team’s Covid-19 test.

The two players got tested separately and joined their colleagues yesterday after results came out negative.

The other Bullets players and officials left for Mangochi on Monday after their test results came out negative last week.

Bullets Chief Administrative Officer, Albert Chigoga, said Chiukepo and Selemani will join their colleagues in training today.

“We are excited to welcome back the two players. They are part of our family and they need to catch up with their teammates. It is good that the players look sharp and are geared to bounce back into action. We are working hard to prepare for the successful defence of the title we won last year,” Chigoga said.

Assistant Coach Peter Mponda said they chose Mangochi because of its hot weather.

“We wanted a place that can help our players get used to playing in hot conditions. We know that we will play most of our games under hot conditions and we need players who can withstand the heat. The players are also training on sand, which is good for our preparations,” Mponda said.

The 2020 season is set to kick off next month after it was halted in March following the government’s declaration of a state of disaster due to Covid-19.

The Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 allowed TNM Super League teams to resume training from last Monday, but after testing all their players and officials for coronavirus.

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