Rwanda international Haruna Niyonzima has been ruled out of action for the next five months.
The Young Africans (Yanga SC) playmaker picked up an injury during their Mainland Premier League match against Biashara United but aggravated it further when he played against rivals Simba SC in the FA Cup.
While Yanga coach Luc Eymael confirmed to Goal the player, alongside Mapinduzi Balama, will miss the remaining two matches as a precaution measure, it has now emerged that Niyonzima will not be ready even for the start of the new season.
“It is very unfortunate that we will be without him [Haruna] for up to five months, he will not be back on the field until next year,” Eymael is quoted by New Times.
“Sad as it is, he should now only focus on his recovery, and we hope he will come back stronger.”
On Wednesday, Eymael confirmed to Goal he will miss eight key players for their league match against Mtibwa Sugar.
Apart from Niyonzima and Balama, the other players missing out owing to injury and other factors include Ally Ally, Andrew Vincent, Eric Kabamba, Ramadhan Kabwili, Papy Tshishimbi, and Raphael Daud.
“We have eight players who will miss the clash, of course, it is not good to miss your key players especially at this time when we want to finish the season in the second position, but I think we will use those who are fit and available,” Eymael told Goal.
Yanga will, however, welcome back keeper Farouk Shikalo, who missed the last match against Mwadui FC, owing to a hand injury.
“Shikalo is back, he has been training well and he is in the squad for the fixture, I don’t know if he will start but it is good to have him in the squad," Eymael confirmed.
Yanga are fighting to finish second on the 20-team league table after missing the chance to get a direct ticket to Caf Confederation Cup when they lost 4-1 to rivals Simba in the FA Cup semi-final.
The team arrived in Morogoro on Monday ready for the clash against Mwadui.