Malawi National Football Team, The Flames have been dealt a blow after captain Limbikani Mzava has been ruled out of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers against Ethiopia and Guinea.
The Flames will host Ethiopia at Bingu National Stadium on Sunday before facing Guinea four days later.
However, The Flames will be without influential captain Mzava due to injury.
A well-placed source confided in Times Sports Sunday that the Amazulu FC defender has excused himself to allow him recover.
“Mzava is not coming. He requested the technical panel to give him ample time to recover from the injury,” said the source.
Mzava did not feature for his club in the DStv Premiership since he returned from Afcon finals in Cameroon.
The former Bloemfontein Celtic and Golden Arrows defender got injured while playing for the Flames in the 2-1 over Zimbabwe in the Group Stage of Afcon finals.
However, Mzava and Football Association of Malawi (Fam) Competitions and communication Director Gomezgani Zakazaka were not readily available Sunday.
His absence means Flames head of technical panel, Mario Marinica, will keep faith in Jordan-based defender Lawrence Chaziya against Ethiopia and Guinea.
Chaziya, who is reportedly enjoying a rich vein of form in Jordan, arrived in the country on Friday and was expected to join camp Sunday in Lilongwe.
Flames Vice Captain John Banda and striker Richard Mbulu also arrived over the weekend.
Dila Gori midfielder Francisco Madinga joined camp in Lilongwe Sunday.
Madinga arrived in the country through Kamuzu International Airport. Amazulu-bound striker Gabadinho Mhango is expected to arrive on Wednesday whereas Simba SC attacking midfielder is expected to join camp today.
The Flames will face Egypt home and away in September before meeting Ethiopia and Guinea again in March next year.
Malawi qualified for the 2021 Afcon finals after finishing second in Group B with 10 points. The group had Burkina Faso, Uganda and South Sudan.