Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
METHOD MWANJALI’S season suffered a premature ending on Sunday when the defender picked an ugly ankle knock.
He has been CAPS United’s most influential player this season, with his leadership qualities helping the team in their quest for the league championship.
The club’s medical team yesterday said the former Warriors skipper is set for an operation at a local hospital this morning.
Mwanjali, who has been admitted at Michael Gelfand Clinic since Sunday, is out for the rest of the season.
X-rays confirmed he suffered bone fractures on his ankle and he will need, at least, three months to recover fully.
Club doctor, Dennis Chabwera, yesterday said a team of specialists recommended that the veteran defender undergoes surgery.
“Method suffered a complex ankle fracture, he is admitted at a local hospital. He is due for an operation tomorrow morning (today).
“It’s quite a bad injury, it takes about 12 weeks to heal, including rehabilitation.
“Of course, there are cases where people heal ahead of schedule but to be honest, for this season, I don’t think he will make it.
“As it stands, we are working with the 12 weeks, which is three months,” said Chabwera.
The 36-year old defender was injured in a tussle with a Hwange player after 24 minutes at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.
Makepekepe won the match 3-1 and cement their place at the top of the table.
The Green Machine have a five-point lead at the top of the Castle Lager Premiership table with just eight games remaining.
Fidelity Life Assurance will chip in to cover all the medical expenses as part of the $1 million sponsorship deal signed with the Premier Soccer League clubs at the beginning of the season. The deal caters for the medical welfare of players and technical officials.
Team manager, Shakespeare Chinogwenya, said Mwanjali’s injury came at the wrong time of the season.
“It’s a pity the Hwange player landed on top of his twisted ankle when he made that tackle,’’ said Chinogwenya.
“He is in pain but it’s something that the doctors are working on.
“He is set for an operation tomorrow (today) and will probably be out for three months thereafter.
“It’s sad it happened when we would rather have wanted everyone to participate.
“As you know, his experience and leadership qualities on the pitch are top-notch. But we trust in the team we have to pull through to the finishing line even in his absence.’’
Coach Darlington Dodo was forced to make three injury-induced substitutions on Sunday.
Youthful forward Kelvin Ndebele, who scored a contender for the goal of the season, limped off for the second week running after he suffered the same fate at Mushowani, where he also scored a beauty. John Zhuwawu, who was introduced as a second half substitute, lasted barely 30 minutes before he was helped off the pitch with a shoulder injury.
“John injured his right collar bone. Thankfully, there is no fracture so he should be back inside two weeks if it all goes well but, for Kelvin, it’s nothing serious.
“It was just a cramp,” said Chabwera.
Makepekepe have amassed 50 points from 26 games while FC Platinum have 45.
The other championship contenders Chicken Inn fell seven points off the pace after they were held to a goalless draw by Black Rhinos.