Birgen has been out for weeks after picking a knee injury in a pre-season friendly against Wazito FC and though he was struck off the injury list ahead of the game against Sony Sugar, the coach felt he needed a little more time off.
However, the defender featured for 90 minutes in a friendly against St. Joseph’s Youth on Wednesday, February 14, at Afraha Stadium, and his show convinced the coach of his readiness.
“Birgen is definitely going to start this weekend; I was giving him time to get the endurance and also recover fully, and now I have no doubt he is ready,” coach Dunstan Nyaudo told the club’s official website.
The coach also had a boost to preparations for the game with the return of Oscar Wamalwa ahead of schedule and the lanky forward went on to score as the team played to a 1-1 draw in the friendly.
For the striker though, the coach hinted at further observation and barring any more setbacks in the Mathare United game, he may have more players available for selection in the AFC Leopards game, with defender Hassan Mohamed and goalkeeper James Saruni coming up well.
“As for Wamalwa, he has recovered way ahead of schedule which is a good thing and we will see how he develops between now and Saturday to determine if he will play.
“The general response from the team is good. I’m seeing Rio has come up well, Saruni is also in good shape but some key members of the team still need to work their way up.”