Warriors' Kapini blow

HARARE - Goalkeeper and captain Tapuwa Kapini, one of Zimbabwe’s driving forces behind their 2013 African Nations Cup qualification quest, faces a possible four-month layoff due to nagging injury.

The inspirational Warriors captain aggravated his ankle injury in the team’s 3-1 win over Angola in the first leg of the last round of qualifiers at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday.

Kapini was between the sticks for the Warriors for 63 minutes before he was replaced by Highlanders stopper Ariel Sibanda.

The AmaZulu goalkeeper looked to be struggling with his ankle just after halftime and it could have contributed to him failing to close down his angles when he allowed Djalma to score Angola’s face-saver at the near pots.

Warriors team doctor Nick Munyonga told the Daily News yesterday that Kapini would require surgery to heal the damage on the ankle.

“Tapuwa re-aggravated his ankle injury,” Munyonga said.

“It’s not serious but because he had injured the ankle before, he could not continue due to the pain. The thing is that the ligaments around his ankle are a too lax and my advice to him is that he needs to be operated to have these ligaments stable again. We have already discussed this with the medical staff at (South African Premiership club) AmaZulu to see when he can have the surgery.”

According Munyonga, Kapini will have to be on the sidelines for at least four months after the surgery to fix the ligament problem in his ankle.

The former Black Aces and Highlanders goalkeeper first picked up the injury last month in training with his club which at one time out cast his availability for weekend’s match in doubt.

After constant negotiations between Munyonga and the AmaZulu medical staff, Kapini arrived in Harare last Thursday evening.

He was certified fit to stand between the posts on the eve of Sunday’s match.

In the event that he has the surgery, it will be a major blow for both Zimbabwe and AmaZulu to have the inspirational goalkeeper out for such a long period. Kapini is also the captain at the Durban-based club.
Usuthu desperately need the Zimbabwean’s services to help stem the early season slump the Durban-based side is going through in the Absa Premiership so far.

AmaZulu currently anchor the 16-team log with a single point from three games.

For the Warriors, this means Kapini is likely to miss the return leg in Angola set for Luanda on October 14.

Zimbabwe carry what looks like a healthy two-goal lead but judging by the way Angola attacked the Warriors in the second period, it promises to be a humdinger of a match in Luanda, which requires such proven warriors as Kapini.

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