Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter
HARARE City striker Francesco Zekumbawira, who was injured during the CAF preliminary round match against AS Adema in Madagascar, is expected to have fully recovered when the league kicks off next month.
Initially, there were fears he might have fractured his ankle, and could be out for a long time, when he was stretched off just after 37 minutes of action in the reverse tie in the island nation. But yesterday coach Taurai Mangwiro said they were relieved that it only turned to be an inflammation and the striker should be back by the time the Castle Lager Premiership league kicks off on April 2.
However, Zekumbawira will again be missing out in action on Sunday when the Sunshine Boys face Zanaco in Lusaka in the Confederation Cup, first round, reverse tie.
But defender Jimmy Tigere, who has been sidelined by injury for the past six weeks, has has started training.
The former Triangle player is yet to kick a ball in a competitive match in Harare City colours and on Monday joined the team at training ahead of the reverse tie in Zambia.
Mangwiro was also relieved that during the weekend’s match none of his players picked serious knocks.
The Sunshine Boys have stepped up preparations for the second leg and the gaffer says they have put behind them the disappointment of their 1-2 defeat.
And Mangwiro says the focus is on his defence which has conceded five goals in three matches, letting in four of those goals at home.
Despite beating AS Adema 6-3 in the preliminary round, the Sunshine Boys let the minnows score two goals at Rufaro. Zanaco also scored two goals before Harare City forward Tanaka Ruzvidzo pulled one back in stoppage time.
“I don’t think we played dismally but we were leaking in defence and that was compounded by the fact that we were not lethal upfront but I don’t think it is time to cry over spilt milk.
“We are confident that we can go out there and come out with something.
“We have been scoring and it is encouraging but more work needs to be done defensively,” he said.
The gaffer hinted that he might ring some changes.
“We regrouped on Monday and we are having double sessions. I am disappointed as I had stressed the need not to concede and now we have a deficit to clear but I don’t think Zanaco had many chances but they just managed to punish us.
“We are still working on the squad and players at times need to be reminded of the mistakes they would have made and at times change of personnel is also good.
“But we are still working on the squad,” said Mangwiro.