Nyasa Big Bullets medical team has made an update on the injured players and midfielder Righteous Banda has been ruled out for the rest of the 2020-21 season after undergoing surgery on his left knee.
The left winger suffered an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury during the team’s pre-season camp in Mangochi last month.
The 24-year-old’s is now focusing on his rehabilitation after undergoing a successful surgery at Beit Cure International in Blantyre last Tuesday.
Team Doctor Felix Mwalule confirmed the surgery was conducted on the same knee that kept the midfielder out during the 2019 season.
“He [Banda] has been struggling with the knee since last season and was diagnosed with a complete tear following an MRI scan last month,” said Mwalule.
“The good news is that the surgery was successful and we expect that once he completes his recuperation, his recurring knee problem will be a thing of the past,” assured the Bullets doctor.
During the pre-season training in Mangochi, Bullets suffered two injury setbacks after vice-captain Chimango Kayira also suffered a Meniscus tear and a Grade 1 Lateral Collateral Ligament sprain on his right knee.
Kayira, who already missed the opening game of the 2020-21 TNM Super League campaign, which kicked off last Saturday, is expected to be unavailable for several weeks. The 27-year-old is currently undergoing physiotherapy sessions.
“Chimango has made a tremendous improvement to his injured knee following the treatment he has been getting at the College of Medicine. He was lined to up to three months of no action, equivalent to 12 weeks, but the four weeks has been tremendous.
“He is currently working well with the physiotherapist and he is due to finish the treatment in the next two weeks and may join the team as he steps up his comeback,” confirmed Mwalule.
Besides Banda and Kayira, Bullets started the title defense against Blue Eagles at Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday without several key players, including captain John Lanjesi, who is still recovering from his lengthy injury, Dalitso Sailesi, Chiukepo Msowoya, Patrick Phiri and Sankhani Mkandawire who picked knocks during training as well as Peter Banda who was mourning the demise of his grandfather.
Sailesi, Msowoya and Phiri returned to the training pitch on Monday after being certified fit, while Banda and Mkandawire will join the rest of the squad on Tuesday.
Zicco Mkanda, who was substituted in the opening minutes of the 0-0 draw against Blue Eagles on Saturday afternoon, is likely to return for weekend fixtures.
Said the team doctor on Tuesday: “Zicco’s injury is not bad as earlier thought. The player felt uncomfortable on his thigh [and] the substitution was a precaution. He could be in line for contention if passed fit today.”
The People’s Team will be traveling up North for the TNM Super League fixtures against Karonga United and Chitipa United at Karonga Stadium on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.