Simba SC coach Didier Gomez Da Rosa has said the health condition of his number one goalkeeper Aishi Manula is not bad and he will be available to face Al Merrikh in their Caf Champions League fixture.
The Msimbazi giants suffered an injury blow during their Mainland Premier League match against JKT Tanzania after their first-choice keeper failed to continue the game after being injured and was immediately rushed to hospital.
Simba went on to win the match 3-0 with goals from Chris Mugalu, Luis Miquissone, and John Bocco but it was the injury to Manula which left them scratching their heads as they prepare to depart to Khartoum for their third Group A battle against the Red Devils on Saturday.
Da Rosa has, however, remained confident Manula, who also turns out for the Tanzania national team Taifa Stars, will be available to play based on the doctor’s assessment.
“Everyone in the squad appreciates Aishi [Manula], even myself and the doctor told me after the game that everything is okay,” Da Rosa told Goal. “He is in hospital to make some examination and we are waiting for some news but you know Manula is very important for us and we are confident he can play in Sudan.”
The club’s Media Officer Haji Manara has also taken to his social media pages to confirm the keeper will board the plane to Sudan for the fixture.
“Aishi [Manula] is very fine and ready to play against Al Merrikh on Saturday,” Manula wrote. “We are confident he will be part of the travelling squad, which leaves on Wednesday for Sudan.
“We thank all Simba fans and members for your prayers and also thank the doctors for their quick response to treat the keeper, we are very grateful.”
On a positive note, Simba welcomed back striker John Bocco, who has been out injured for the last two months and was even among the goals in the match played at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium.
“Bocco is a quality player for us, we know what he can bring to the table when fit and ready to play, I am happy he has returned and he played very well against JKT Tanzania,” Da Rosa continued.
“We have missed his goals and I am happy for him he came on and scored, so it shows you he still remembers how to score the goals, we are happy to have him back and he will be part of our squad for the trip to Sudan.”
Simba will head to Khartoum topping the group with six points after winning their first two matches – 1-0 against AS Vita Club of the Democratic Republic of the Congo away in Kinshasa and a 1-0 win against Egyptian giants Al Ahly at Mkapa Stadium in Tanzania.