Highlanders will travel to Rusape for a Sunday Castle Larger Premier Soccer League clash with league debutants Manica Diamonds without hard working and roving box-to-box midfielder Devine Mhindirira who picked a left-knee injury in a week thirteen encounter against reigning champions and current log leaders FC Platinum at Barbourfields stadium last Sunday.
Highlanders team doctor, Dr Shepherd Khumalo and coach Bekithemba Ndlovu who addressed journalists during the Club’s traditional Thursday press conferences in the absence of Technical Manager Mandla Mpofu confirmed Mhindirira’s injury.
Mhindirira sustained the injury from Raisome Pavari’s challenge from the back inside the box, an incident that resulted to the referee awarding a penalty to Highlanders.
Ariel Sibanda converted the spot-kick in the 45th minute to cancel Albert Eonde’s 38th minute strike, and the match went on to end in a 1-1 stalemate.
“I can confirm that Mhindirira will not take part in this week’s match against Manica Diamonds due to the left knee injury he sustained against FC Platinum on Sunday. We will asses him again next week to see the extent of the injury,” said Khumalo.
The 19-year-old Mhindirira has established himself as a key piece in Highlanders project, producing some consistent and brilliant performances for the team since the beginning of season.
He adds to the already long injury list in the team, joining right-backs Bukhosi Ncube and MacClive Phiri who have been sidelined for the better part of the first half of the season due to a knee and arm injuries respectively, and the Zambian striker Peter Nyirenda who is nursing a hamstring injury.
Meanwhile, Ndlovu said besides injuries, the team, going to the Sunday match disadvantaged by the pitch already, will fight for its first set of maximum points in the post Madinda Ndlovu era.
For a team playing passing football like Highlanders, the surface of Vengere stadium is not the ideal, and Ndlovu believes it will be up to the players to fight, if Bosso is to come out with a positive result in Rusape.
Last season Bosso had a horrible afternoon at the same venue where the team ended up succumbing to a controversial 0-1 defeat in the hands of Mutare City, who are now playing in the ZIFA Eastern Region Division One League.
Bosso had Tendai Ndlovu’s clear goal disallowed, before veteran striker Evans Chikwaikwai rose from the bench to score a contentious goal as seemed to have scored from an offside position.
“The ground will come to play in making the match difficult for a team like us because we like playing a passing game. At Vengere you can’t pass it, especially at the back when you are trying to build, you will make a lot of mistakes, so I think it will be up to fighting of the boys,” he said.