The Warriors have suffered an early setback in their quest to become champions of Africa after influential midfielder Tafadzwa Kutinyu suffered a knee injury.
Kutinyu was reportedly expected to start in Friday’s much-anticipated opening match against the Pharaohs of Egypt. However, his injury rules him out for the entire tournament.
Speaking to Newsday Sport from the national team camp in Cairo, Egypt, Warriors manager Wellington Mupandare said:
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I can confirm that Kutinyu is going to miss the whole tournament due to a knee injury that he suffered.
We have had some tests and the results have not gone in our favour and it’s unfortunate that the player can no longer take part in this tournament.
The next step is for the technical team to meet and consider a replacement after our training session this evening.
This is something that we had not envisaged, so we will have to sit over it and see who we can bring in.
We will have to present our medical report to Caf so that they can ascertain if we can be allowed to make a replacement. From what the report says, that should not be a problem.
Reports indicate that if CAF gives the Warriors the green light to bring in a replacement for Kutinyu, Rodwell Chingetere will be the player.
Zimbabwe hosts Egypt on Friday, 21 June at the Cairo International Stadium at 10 PM Zimbabwean Time.
Warriors Afcon squad
Goalkeepers: George Chigova, Edmore Sibanda, Elvis Chipezeze.
Defenders: Tendayi Darikwa, Jimmy Dzingai, Divine Lunga, Teenage Hadebe, Alec Mudimu, Ronald Pfumbidzai.
Midfielders: Marshall Munetsi, Marvelous Nakamba, Danny Phiri, Ovidy Karuru, Kuda Mahachi, Talent Chawapihwa, Khama Billiat, Knowledge Musona, Tafadzwa Kutinyu, Thabani Kamusoko.
Strikers: Nyasha Mushekwi, Tino Kadewere, Evans Rusike, Knox Mutizwa