Flames ace striker Frank Gabadinho Mhango’s availability for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) back-to-back qualifier against Burkina Faso is in doubt after the Orlando Pirates forward suffered an injury on Wednesday.
Gaba suffered the knock early in a DStv Premiership match between Orlando Pirates and Stellenbosch, but stayed on until he could not take it anymore and was substituted for Terrence Dzvukamanja at half-time.
Although the seriousness of the injury was yet to be known by yesterday, Pirates head coach Josef Zinnbauer expressed doubt on the player’s availability in the MTN8 match against Kaizer Chiefs tomorrow.
“We have to see what happens with Gaba, he had an injury,” he said.
The Flames face Burkina Faso away in Ouagadougou on November 12 while the return leg is on November 16 at Kamuzu Stadium.
Flames coach Meck Mwase is today expected to name foreign-based players to join the rest of the players in camp at Malawi Sun Hotel, according to a statement from Football Association of Malawi (FAM).
Soccer analyst Charles Nyirenda said the coach should ensure Gaba is fully fit before including him in his squad.
He said: “It will be a big blow to miss Gaba. But if he is not fit then there is nothing he can do.”
However, with Gaba’s upfront partner Richard Mbulu recently picking up his form, Nyirenda said Mwase should not panic.
“Luckily, Mbulu is doing fine at his club having already scored three goals in two matches,” he said.
Local players already regrouped at Malawi Sun Hotel in Blantyre ahead of the back-to-back qualifiers.
Apart from the players who participated in the two international friendlies against Zambia and Zimbabwe, Mwase has added Mafco’s Paul Ndlovu, Nixon Mwase from Civil United, Lusekelo Malema from Karonga United, Moyale Barracks midfielder Lloyd Njaliwa and Silver Strikers forward Stain Dave.