BY HENRY MHARA
Warriors captain Knowledge Musona picked up an injury in his second appearance for new club KAS Eupen at the weekend, in what could be yet another setback for the player.
The striker lasted just 32 minutes in the team’s 1-0 win away to KVRS Waasland Beveren in the Belgian league on Saturday before he was replaced by Jon Bautista.
“Coach Beñat San José was forced to change early because Knowledge Musona had to leave the pitch after 32 minutes due to injuries and was replaced by Jon Bautista,” the club’s official website wrote yesterday.
They did not give the nature and extent of the injury.
The injury would be a huge obstacle to Musona’s progress, who got off to a very promising start at his new home last week when he scored on his debut to secure a draw at home against Sporting Charleroi.
After impressing in his first match, the Smiling Assassin was restored into the starting line-up at the weekend, but could not last the distance.
Injuries have been the major hindrance to Musona’s career this far, and the latest setback would be a huge worry for him.
It is hoped that it’s nothing serious and he can return to playing regular football again soon.
The Zimbabwe skipper joined Eupen this month on loan from fellow Belgian side Anderlecht until the end of the season.
He impressed Eupen during friendly matches in Doha, and the club decided to give him a chance with a short term contract.
The club has an option to buy him permanently at the end of the season.
The injury will also be a huge worry for the Warriors fans, who are desperate to see their team captain playing club football regularly and gain the much-needed match fitness.
With the 2021 Caf Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) and 2022 World qualifying matches a few months away for Zimbabwe, Musona’s injury is the last thing that the fans would want.
The Warriors resume their Afcon qualification bid with back-to back matches against Algeria in March before making a short trip to Botswana between June 1 and 9.
They will conclude their campaign with a home clash against Zambia during the September 1-9 international break.
Zimbabwe are second in Group H with four points, while defending champions Algeria are at the summit with six points after a 100% start to the campaign, with Botswana and Zambia in third and fourth places with one and zero points, respectively.
Zimbabwe will also resume their World Cup qualification bid in March in the second round of the qualifiers.
Having beaten little Somalia in the first round, the Warriors were drawn in Group G against Ghana, South Africa and Ethiopia for the World Cup second round qualifiers.
The group leader will qualify to the third and final round.
The second round of qualifiers will kick off in March and conclude in October next year, with the third and final round scheduled for the following month.
The 2022 World Cup will be played in Qatar between November 21 and December 18, 2022.
Zimbabwe are currently looking for a substantive coach for the Warriors to take charge of the two campaigns.
The coach is expected to be announced before the end of this week, with the selection process set to be completed on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Warriors and Baroka goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze suffered a horrific neck injury during a league game against Maritzburg United in a South African league yesterday.
Chipezeze landed awkwardly early into the second half after a collision with an opponent.
He was taken off on a stretcher, strapped with a neck guard and an oxygen mask.