'Watch out for Manucho'…Kapini warns Warriors

HARARE - Injured Zimbabwe football captain and goalkeeper Tapuwa Kapini, who had his first review with his surgeon yesterday since his ankle operation two weeks ago, has warned his teammates to closely monitor Angolan star Manucho in the decisive 2013 African Nations Cup qualifier next month.

Kapini, who plays for AmaZulu in the South African Premiership, has been ruled out of the Warriors’ crucial tie due to the injury.

Zimbabwe carries a 3-1 lead from the first leg played on September 9 at Rufaro Stadium and are just 90 minutes away from qualifying for the finals to be held in South Africa next January.

Kapini says the Warriors need to watch out for former Manchester United forward Manucho, who caused them anxious moments after being introduced as a second half substitute in the first leg at Rufaro Stadium in September.

“All I can say to the team for now is that we need to be aware of the Manucho factor when they go to Angola,” Kapini told the Daily News from Durban yesterday.

“We need to stop them from getting those crosses into the box or else they will use their height to punish us. There is need for good communication between the goalkeeper and the defenders. Whoever is going to play in goals must be very alert. We also need our big and experienced players like Esrom to be at their best and I’m sure we will be able to get a positive result.”

Added Kapini: “I went to the doctor today and he removed the plaster and bandages from my leg. I was in tears when I saw how my leg was looking like, but the doctor told me everything was fine and I was actually making good progress since the surgery.

“The doctor said I should start my rehabilitation training a month from now. At the moment they have put my leg in a moonboot, which I should be wearing for the next two weeks.”

A moonboot is ideal for the management of lower leg fractures specifically for the stability of ankle injuries.

The boot promotes compression around the fracture which helps reduce swelling whilst supporting the leg; both of these factors promote healing of the injury.

Kapini has another appointment with his surgeon in two weeks’ time, and that is when he will know the exact time he will be out of action.

With such injuries, one can expect to be sidelined for up to four months.

“I’m going back to the doctor after two weeks and that’s when they are going to remove this moonboot from my leg,” said the former Black Aces and Highlanders stopper.

“After that I will have to go undergo a scan to see if the ligaments in my ankle have become stable again. This scan will determine how long I will have to wait before I start playing football again.”

It is not only Kapini, who will be sidelined with injury for the Warriors, but also forward Rodwell Chinyengetere.

The Hwange captain suffered a double fracture on his right leg in a collision with Monomotapa goalkeeper Artwell Mukandi during a league match at Rufaro Stadium over the weekend.

Chinyengetere will be out of action for the next eight two weeks.

“I’m sad to hear about Roddy’s injury as well because he is someone who was giving 100 percent for the team,” said Kapini.

“We will not be there physically with the team in Angola but we will be there in spirit. It’s now all up to the players that have been selected by the coaches to deliver in Luanda. I believe in the team we have and I’m sure we will qualify for the Nations Cup.”

The inspirational goalkeeper repeated his mantra on the Warriors’ need to be brave and cautious in Luanda.

The Palancas Negras caused Zimbabwe a lot of problems in the second half at Rufaro especially after the introduction of Manucho, who plays for Real Valladolid in the Spanish La Liga.

Porto’s Djalma scored Angola’s away goal in the 58th minute.

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