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By Grace Chingoma
Following his return to action on Saturday, CAPS United skipper Hardlife Zvirekwi has described his recovery as a miracle.
The 2016 Soccer Star of the Year was involved in a horrific car accident in March which led to the amputation of his left palm.
Since then he has been undergoing rehabilitation.
But on a chilly Saturday afternoon at Rufaro, the utility player returned to action three minutes before stoppage time against Harare City in his first game for the former champions this season.
“It was a fantastic feeling to be back on the pitch. I was so happy the coach gave me the opportunity, had faith in me by fielding me again,” said Zvirekwi.
“I would like to thank everyone. The reception from the fans was crazy, it was a humbling experience.
“Everyone in the stadium welcomed me.”
He has been ever present at every game which CAPS United have played in his absence.
He also went into the dressing room to sharply criticise his teammates for letting the team, and the fans, down after a shock defeat at the hands of Mutare City Rovers.
“I didn’t expect to be back so soon hence it was a miraculous return and would like to thank God for that,” he said.
“During the rehabilitation process, even from the day I got amputated, I stayed positive, saw things in a different way from the manner others were seeing it.
“I had faith that God is still in the business of making miracles and with Him all things are still possible.
“It was not easy being on the sidelines and it took a lot of hard work, but I would like to thank my teammates and the coach for it was not easy, but they guided me.
“I am still recovering and not yet hundred percent fit. I will give it my best. I will play a role in the last half of the season to help my teammates when given an opportunity play a role in matches.”
Zvirekwi says he hardly feels any pain now and has only been experiencing some pain during the cold spell which has been prevailing in the country.
Although CAPS United are currently fifth on the table, 14 points behind pacesetters and champions FC Platinum, Zvirekwi, who led the Green Machine to the league title at the end of the 2016 season, believes the championship race is still wide open.
“There is still a long way to go, the race is still (wide) open, in my own opinion, to any one of the teams in the top five although it might seem that champions FC Platinum are running away with it,” said Zvirekwi.