Zimbabwe’s preparations for the 2019 African Cup of Nations opener against hosts Egypt on Friday took an unanticipated twist with several stars taking knocks in their final preparatory game on Sunday.
Star winger Khama Billiat last week complained of some discomfort in his knee which ruled him out of the final warm-up match against Tanzania which ended 1-1.
The Kaizer Chiefs forward – a goal scorer of note – is hugely expected to give the Warriors a glimmer of hope in attack, but news of his injury will likely knock the confidence of the group.
An official told ZTN Sport that coach Sunday Chidzambwa was also forced to do without Nyasha Mushekwi, who had travelled to fulfil his club’s league assignments in China.
Although Mushekwi has joined the camp, his absence on Sunday denied the technical team a chance to try combinations with him leading the line in the final preparatory match.
In Mushekwi’s absence, Tino Kadewere led the line against the Taifa Stars, but Zimbabwe’s woes mounted when the France based forward also limped off injured.
Reliable shot stopper Elvis Chipezeze also failed to last the distance in the game and was forced out with an injury.
Versatile midfielder Tafadzwa Kutinyu might not be able to take part in the opening games after suffering what appeared to be a serious injury in the final preparatory match.