NYASHA MUSHEKWI has provided a graphic heart-wrenching video clip of the excruciating pain he endures in a delicate procedure regularly performed by medical staff of Dalian Yifang, just to enable him to feature for his Chinese Super League side in recent weeks.
The video clip shows the Zimbabwe international forward lying naked on a bed, while a specialist doctor injects some drugs into his groin area to ease the pain, which has been haunting him for months now and to ensure he can, at least, run for the duration of a game.
Mushekwi is heard in the video moaning and groaning from the severe pain inflicted by the delicate procedure, which has to be done with the aid of an ultra-sound scan monitor, to enable the physician to pick the exact spot where the drugs have to be injected.
The 31-year-old writhes in pain as the needle is inserted into his groin area, while the physician administers the drug into his body in what Mushekwi says is a painful routine he has to undergo on a regular basis.
“This is what I go through every week before my games to numb my pain so I can be able to play. And this only lasts me for about 60 minutes to 70 minutes the most and after that I’m back to running if not jogging on the pitch? I know people don’t understand, but it hasn’t been easy,’’ said Mushekwi.
The former CAPS United and Mamelodi Sundowns man said Dalian Yifang were in a Catch-22 situation as they needed to survive relegation, while also facing a striker crisis.
“The team needed to get out of relegation so they had to take extreme measures? I know it’s not easy for people to understand, but this is me going through this for almost 10 weeks now.
“And they have to inject me at the correct place, this is why they use like ultrasound while injecting me so they can see exactly otherwise they will hurt me?
“This is how I’ve been able to play but still not at my 100 percent, I can’t keep trying to explain but my situation is a bit complicated for me. But I guess it is what it is . . .
“I’m sure now we are in a good position and soon I’ll be resting for the first of the treatments my doctors are recommending then if that doesn’t work then I’ve to go for surgery.”
Mushekwi’s injury woes have meant that he has had to once again miss the Warriors’ African Cup of Nations qualifying assignments, the latest being their trip for a tough duel against Group G top seeds Democratic Republic of Congo in Kinshasa on Saturday night.
He was also missing in action when the Warriors travelled to Brazzaville for a date with Congo which ended 1-1.
The Warriors management and medical crew have since allowed Mushekwi time off to go through the demanding measures to manage his injury.
But the striker looks set to be closely following the proceedings from Kinshasa where the Warriors, who have been rocked by injuries to other central strikers — Evans Rusike and Tinotenda Kadewere — will be fighting to retain top spot in Group G.
Skipper Knowledge Musona told www.zifa.org <http://www.zifa.org> that his troops needed to quickly adjust to the hot conditions in Kinshasa and ensure they secure a result that will leave them on course for possible qualification to next year’s finals in Cameroon.
“It’s very hot and humid, I think we just have to stay hydrated, drink a lot of water and try to rest as much rest as possible because it’s difficult to play a match in this kind of weather.
“But I think we are going to be in the same pitch so it will be difficult for both teams.
“We are looking forward, we just want to give it our best and try to get a result to take home.
“We have a good chance to qualify, we just have to make sure we don’t lose in all the games because it will be difficult when they take six points from us, it will mean we would have to win in our last two games,’’ Musona said.
Musona, who plays for Belgian top-flight side Anderlecht, threw his weight behind the side that coach Sunday Chidzambwa has taken to DRC, which he said was a quality team.
“We just have to take positive results in these two games so that we keep the race going and I am very hopeful that we are going to make it. We have some good players and we have the quality to do it and qualify and I don’t think there is a problem,’’ said Musona.
Midfielder Marvellous Nakamba, who also plies his trade in Belgium with Club Brugge is equally optimistic that the Warriors will grind a result in Kinshasa.
Nakamba was conspicuous by his absence in Brazzaville with an injury having forced him to miss the game.
But he has since recovered and starred for Club Bruge in their UEFA Champions League game against Atletico Madrid, having been introduced as a 55th minute substitute in the game which the Belgians lost 3-1.
Nakamba said it was imperative that the Warriors focus more on their game plan and less on what the Leopards would be doing.
“We are used to the fact that weather can be a big problem mostly in Africa but I think we must concentrate on our own, how we can manage things as a team and we should just focus more on our ourselves,’’ Nakamba said.
Big goalkeeper George Chigova also spoke on Saturday’s showdown and challenged his teammates to gun for a win in the first of the back-to-back encounters against the Leopards. “Getting all the three points in DRC will be massive for us as we aim to qualify for AFCON next year.
“We are tied on four points with them and we will open a three-point gap if we manage to beat them in their own backyard.
“It’s an advantage that we are playing the first encounter away from home before hosting them in a matter of days. That gives us some sort of advantage and we have to be compact in our first game,” Chigova said.
The Polokwane City goalkeeper said a win in DRC would also lessen the pressure on them as it would have taken their points tally to seven before they host the same opponents at the National Sports Stadium three days later. “If we can work out a win in the first game, there won’t be much pressure on us in the second game. The supporters will also come in their numbers to root for us if we grind a result away.
“We are targeting three points which can put us in good stead to calm nerves in the second game on Tuesday.
“We know our capabilities and we are out to win the game against DRC away on Saturday,”
With Liberia and Congo Brazzaville not far off the pace especially given that one of them could cut the gap on the leading pack, Chigova reckons the need to retain maximum concentration in the DRC.
“The win will help us take a huge step towards qualification. We will put our bodies on the wall and fight for the national colours, we know what it means to win the first leg clash against DRC.
“We just have to play our normal game, just like what we have done in the previous matches. We will be attacking just like what we did against Congo Brazzaville though we were unfortunate enough not to win that game. “If we can attack, attack and attack then I don’t see any problem getting a result in the DRC. We have to prepare well as a team and do what we ought to do and come out victorious.
“Of course we are aware of the threat posed by the opponents especially considering that they are a bit more experienced in terms of their playing arsenal but the fact that we already know that means we cannot dwell much onto that,” Chigova said.