A back injury has ruled out Flames defender Pilirani Zonda from this month’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) back-to-back qualifier against Guinea.
Zonda pulled his back muscles during Sunday training session.
This is a second time for the player to hurt his back after last year he was also sidelined form national team due to the same back injury.
Flames team doctor Levison Mwale said the Nyasa Big Bullets player will be out of action for two weeks.
He is expected to undergo a scan at Kachere Rehabilitation Centre in Blantyre.
Mwale said the player may return to action just a few days before the first leg against Guinea and it will not be possible for the player to travel with the team to Guinea.
“The injury is not serious. He just needs two weeks to recover,” Mwale said.
“But by then, he will have been out of action for two weeks and match fitness will be the problem.”
In a related development, Flames coach Ernest Mtawali says he is happy with the effort players are putting in training.
Mtawali said the players, who are coming from off season, are working hard to get in shape after a long stay and are responding positively to his intense physical training practices.
Harry Nyirenda, the only foreign based player in the squad, passed physical test and is focused to win his place back in the team having last played in June last year.
Defender Yamikani Fodya, who has been sitting out since the team regrouped after he was diagonised with Malaria, also had his first full training.
“All is going according to plan,” Mtawali said. “The boys are responding well to training.”
The team will rest on Sunday and resume training on Monday.
Mozambique-based players are expected to join the squad next week.