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Title-chasing Gor Mahia lose defender Shafik Batambuze to injury again

4:22 AM EDT 4/30/19
Shafik Batambuze of Gor Mahia and Hassan Oktay.
The Ugandan left-back was making a comeback from injury against the Soldiers before he was withdrawn in the second half

Gor Mahia defender Shafik Batambuze is set for a long spell in the sidelines after picking up an injury on Monday.

The Ugandan left-back was making a comeback from another injury, sustained during their Kenyan Premier League (KPL) match against Bandari, and did not finish the second half of the match against Ulinzi Stars which Gor Mahia won 2-1 to stretch their lead at the summit.

“He picked a serious knee injury and I don’t think he will be able to play again this season. It looked a very bad injury and we will have to access him first, but I don’t know, maybe he will play maybe he will not,” Oktay told Goal in an interview.

“Our medical staff will access him and give us the report but I hope he will play again. We need him as the league is now entering the homestretch, and I want to have all my players fit and it will be sad if Batambuze is ruled out for the rest of the season.”

Oktay also took a swipe at the condition of the Afraha Stadium pitch, which he said does not deserve to host any match from the KPL.

“Is that a pitch really, that is not one. The playing surface is very poor and kept injuring my players. I wonder how Ulinzi Stars cope up playing in such a surface. Afraha is among the worst pitches I have seen in the country and something urgent needs to be done to help the surface,” Oktay continued.

“The other pitches that I hate playing in include Bukhungu Stadium and Machakos. They are not up to the standards of playing football and the KPL should do something.

"So many players are suffering injuries because of the condition of the pitches and if something is not done, then we will end up having no players in the league."

The win against Ulinzi Stars took Gor Mahia nine points clear at the 18-team table, and they will face KCB and Western Stima on Thursday and Sunday.