Uganda coach Johnathan McKinstry has stated captain Halid Lwaliwa will be available to face Togo in their second match of the African Nations Championship in Cameroon.
The Cranes started the competition with a 0-0 draw against East African neighbours Rwanda in a Group C match played on Monday.
The 24-year-old defender, who turns out for Ugandan Premier League giants Vipers SC, missed the clash against Rwanda owing to injury, with coach McKinstry opting to start Paul Patrick Mbowa and Musitafa Mujjuzi, who captained the team.
The Northern Irish tactician is now hopeful Lwaliwa will be ready to face Togo on Friday, in a match Uganda must win to keep up their hopes of doing well in the competition.
“Halid [Lwaliwa] missed out through a small injury,” McKinstry said as quoted by Kawowo Sports. “He had a little strain on his hamstring a couple of days before the match.
“It was a small thing but we did not want to rush him. The decision we arrived at with the medical team together with the player was he misses the first game and be ready for the remaining games.
“We are hopeful in the upcoming games he will be ready. We are speaking to the doctors and he will be taking part in today’s [Wednesday] training session.”
In an earlier interview, McKinstry told Goal he was assured of getting a win against Togo if his players regain their confidence.
“We have got a big game in three days’ time now against Togo and it is a big game for them as well because obviously having lost to Morocco in their opening game, they will be hungry for points, so we got to put the players back together and make sure we have many people back to full fitness as possible,” McKinstry told Goal.
On whether the team picked up injuries from the match against Rwanda, McKinstry said: “Obviously our doctors will have to access Milton [Karisa], who pulled up with an injury after 12 minutes, we have to access his situation tomorrow [Tuesday], and see if he will be available for the next game.
“But it is all about putting the players back together, getting back to the training field, and really it is a case of removing the fear from the players because we know if they pass the ball.
“We know if they move it and play that one or two touch football and get it into our midfielders and get it into the feet of our wide forwards, we can be really effective but we didn’t do that enough today [Monday] and so we need to build on that and make sure the next two games we play that passing moving brand of football that can bring us success.”
Defending champions Morocco are topping the group with three points after their 1-0 win over Togo on Monday.