HIGHLANDERS’ defenders Bruce Kangwa and Erick Mudzingwa are not training after sustaining injuries during the 0-3 Chibuku Super Cup semi-final defeat to Harare City at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday.
Mid-season acquisition defender Webster Chingodza who broke his toe during the 1-3 loss to ZPC Kariba in a league match on September 28 at Hartsfield Rugby Grounds has been ruled out for the rest of the season.
Striker Njabulo “Tshiki” Ncube has started light training and is no guarantee for the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League derby against Chicken Inn on at Hartsfield Sunday.
That is the status quo prevailing at troubled Highlanders who are hard pressed to restore lost pride and get a top-four finish.
It’s the predicament that care-taker coach Mark Mathe faces as he ponders on his squad.
“Like I have always said, we have a squad of 32 players, but it’s a bit worrying,” he said.
“No coach would want any of his players injured. But football is a contact sport and the games have to be played. We just have to come up with a plan.
“There is a possibility that Webster (Chingodza) could be out for the rest of the season. We are not expecting him anytime soon after he broke his toe. Erick (Mudzingwa) and Bruce (Kangwa) are out. Njabulo has started light training.”
Mudzingwa and Kangwa were pulled out inside two minutes in the first half against Harare City with the former sustaining a knee injury and the latter a head injury.
Mathe’s solace could be the return of striker Gabriel Nyoni who pulled a hamstring while on national duty for the Under-23 Young Warriors in Swaziland last week.
The coach said Nyoni and Joel Ngodzo, who missed the game against City, have both started training.
Simon Munawa and young Honest Moyo could be the options for the defence which has been much affected by the injuries.
Former skipper Innocent Mapuranga, who had been sidelined, has returned to the fold and is likely to partner Dumisani Ndlovu with Felix Chindungwe as defensive linkman.
Upfront, Bosso has leading PSL scorer Charles Sibanda and Simba Sithole, who played a full game against Harare City.
Another option is Tapiwa Dephistara, who replaced Mudzingwa on Sunday with other players available being Mthulisi Maphosa, Pasca Manhanga, Rahman Kutsanzira and Hillary Madzivanyika.