Flames first-choice goalminder Simplex Nthala has confessed that he initially underestimated the leg injury he suffered during club training in Mozambique mid-March.
The towering goalkeeper, who is on loan at Mozambican top Mocambola League side Ferrviario de Nampula from Liga Maculmana, fears the injury might reduce him to a sideshow longer than he thought.
He overstretched his right knee ligament after colliding with an advancing striker during training.
In a telephone interview from Mozambique on Tuesday, Nthala said he is planning to return home soon for further assessment at Beit Cure International Hospital in Blantyre.
“The injury that I picked might have been more serious than I previously thought because there has been no significant improvement and yet it is now over a month.
“So, to be on the safe side, I am planning to come home for further assessment and treatment,” said Nthala.
He also confessed that he is frustrated with the situation he is in because he has no ideas as to when he will resume playing.
“I am disturbed and that is why I have thought of returning home briefly so that I can be assessed by experts at Beit Cure,” he said.
Flames caretaker coach Eddington Ng’onamo described Nthala’s situation as worrying.
“It is worrying considering that he is an experienced goalkeeper and we are hoping that he should recover in time for the forthcoming games.
“Since he has indicated that he is planning to come home for further treatment, we will also ask our team doctor to assess him.
“However, the solace is that we have good cover in other local ‘keepers such as Owen Chaima, Charles Swini and Richard Chipuwa,” said Ng’onamo.
Nthala missed the Flames 2014 World Cup away qualifier against Namibia and Chaima had to be thrown into service.
Meanwhile, another Mozambique-based forward Zicco Mkanda is expected to resume serious training next Monday while South Africa-based defender Limbikani ‘Pupa’ Mzava was supposed to start training on Tuesday.
Mkanda, who plays for Liga Maculmana said: “I have made steady progress and I have already started light training. Hopefully, I should switch to serious business next Monday.”
Mzava, who has risen to become one of the most reliable defenders for PSL side Bloemfontein Celtic, also told The Nation that he would bounce back to action this week.