HARARE – Zimbabwe goalkeeper and captain Tapuwa Kapini went under the knife in Durban on Wednesday to fix his troublesome left ankle.
Kapini, who plays for South Africa Premiership side AmaZulu, will need at least four months of rehabilitation before he can play again.
The surgery effectively rules out the inspirational goalkeeper from the Warriors’ second leg of the 2013 African Nations Cup final qualifier against Angola in Luanda on October 14.
The Warriors carry a 3-1 lead from the first leg at Rufaro Stadium last weekend.
Kapini has been one of the driving forces behind the Warriors’ qualification quest and his absence will come as a big blow for the team.
The Palancas Negras are expected to throw everything in their arsenal at the Warriors in the second leg and the services of the experienced shot stopper will be solely missed.
AmaZulu, who are bottom of the 16-team log in South Africa, will also be heavily affected by Kapini’s absence.
Following the surgery on Wednesday, Kapini used his Twitter account to express his gratitude to his fans.
“Thank God everything went well still at the hospital, thank you for your prayers,” Kapini tweeted.
Earlier in the day, he had tweeted: “The injury it is serious, going for an operation today love you guys.”
Warriors team doctor Nick Munyonga said he would be able to make a proper assessment after reading the medical report from the AmaZulu medical staff.
“The operation went well and it was successful but I’m still waiting to get the full medical report from his team doctors. They had promised me to get it later today,” Munyonga told the Daily News yesterday.
Kapini first suffered the injury in training with Usuthu late last month and was initially scheduled to be out of action for three weeks.
His return coincided with the Warriors match against Angola in which he only played for 63 minutes before he was substituted for Highlanders’ Ariel Sibanda after he aggravated the injury.