Flames captain Limbikani Mzava’s return to national duty will be delayed further after the player was ruled out of both first and second legs of the World Cup qualifier against Botswana on September 7 and 10 due to a groin injury.
The centre-back suffered the injury while playing for his South Africa Premier Soccer League outfit Highlands Park a week ago.
Flames team manager James Sangala confirmed the development in an interview on Tuesday.
“They [Highlands Park] say he [Mzava] will be sidelined for six weeks. Of course we have requested for a medical report from the club,” he said.
Mzava last played for the Flames in Malawi’s 3-0 loss to Morocco on September 8 last year in a 2019 in Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier.
He was sidelined from the remaining Afcon qualifiers after suffering a knee injury at his former club Golden Arrows.
But despite recovering and returning to action for his club, former Flames coach Ronny van Geneugden (RVG) sidelined the player and opted for Nyasa Big Bullets centre-back John Lanjesi as captain.
Flames coach Meke Mwase has also maintained Lanjesi as captain, but the Bullets skipper is also ruled out due to an injury.
Meanwhile, after breaking last Thursday, the Flames regrouped on Sunday for the final week of the local camp before they are joined by foreign-based players.
The Zebras on the other hand regrouped last week after appointing Algerian Adel Amrouche as coach ahead for the tie set for next month.
The former Kenya, Libya and Burundi coach replaces David Bright who was fired for failing to qualify for the 2019 Egypt Afcon.