Robson Sharuko, Senior Sports Editor
MARVELOUS NAKAMBA has revealed he will attend the Warriors camp next week, even though an injury has ruled him out of the 2019 AFCON qualifier against Congo-Brazzaville, to cheer the spirits of his teammates and be with them as they attempt to clear the final hurdle.
It’s a remarkable display of the unity that prevails in the Warriors camp, where the players are being driven by the fiery passion to serve their country with distinction, and bring a fitting close to this AFCON campaign by booking their place in Egypt later this year.
The Warriors have been plagued by divisions in the past, amid some internal battles among the players, but this group appears a united lot and Nakamba’s decision to be with his teammates in camp, even though he is unavailable for the match, is another display of the united front that exists in this team.
Nakamba, who turned 25 on January 19, suffered an injury, during training at his Belgian side Club Brugge last Wednesday, which will keep him on the sidelines for, at least, five weeks, as first revealed by The Herald yesterday.
Today, we can also reveal that Nakamba will fly to Harare to provide moral support for his teammates and will stay with them in their camp during their preparations for the showdown against the Red Devils.
‘’I will just come to wish the team success, if it’s two or three days, I will be there in camp to support them,’’ Nakamba revealed yesterday.
Nakamba suffered acute pain in the left hip region during training last Wednesday.
‘’MRI performed today shows oedema in the Miliacus and a rupture in the iliopsoas muscle of 3cm,’’ Club Brugge said in a report sent to Warriors team manager, Wellington Mpandare.
‘’He will be out of training for four weeks.
‘’So, he will not be able to attend the upcoming national team game.’’
Ironically, Nakamba also missed the Warriors trip to Brazzaville for their first showdown against the Congolese, which ended in a 1-1 draw, with the hosts rallying from a first half deficit to force a share of the spoils.
Marshall Munetsi was one of the players who were thrown into midfield by coach Sunday Chidzambwa to partner Danny ‘’Deco’’ Phiri and Kuda Mahachi.
Last week, Chidzambwa prayed for injuries not to haunt his side, which has suffered more than its fair share of players missing in action during this campaign, when he named his troops for the battle against the Congolese.
Nakamba, a box-to-box midfielder, has become one of the most influential players in the Warriors team and his game has been improving with every season he spends in Europe.
Although he has attracted the interest of some big teams, from Italy to England, with West Ham being reported as the leading club to get his signature, Nakamba appears to have fallen out with his coach at Club Brugge with the midfielder, of late, not being guaranteed a place in the starting XI.
Belgian newspaper, Het Laatste Nieuws, quoted football analyst Marc Degryse, a former Club Brugge star, questioning the way coach Ivan Leko has been treating Nakamba this season.
“This is the second time Leko has tinkered with the midfield — last year with Clasie and this time with Amrabat of which the latter is no better than Nakamba or (Matt) Rits,” said Degryse.
“Why does he necessarily want to be right with Amrabat? For me, Nakamba is the purest number ‘6’ in the selection, and he should start in the future.”
Club Brugge, who won the Belgian championship last season with Nakamba making the team of season, are second in the race, six points behind leaders Genk, who beat Knowledge Musona’s Lokeren, who are bottom of the table, 1-0 at the weekend.
Lokeren, who acquired the Warriors captain on loan from Anderlecht in January, have only won once in the league this year, a 2-1 victory over Antwerp on February 19, in the seven league matches they have played since the turn of the year.
Musona has scored once for the team.
He was handed a place in the starting XI on Sunday, in a match-up against Tanzanian forward Mbwana Samatta, who has scored 20 goals in 27 matches for Genk this season.
The Smiling Assassin was replaced after 75 minutes on Sunday.