Rusike re­turns to train­ing ahead of Cha­pungu trip

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ed­die Chikamhi Se­nior Sports Reporter

CAPS United re­ceived a boost in their fi­nal push for the Cas­tle Lager Premier­ship soc­cer ti­tle yes­ter­day with the re­turn of mid­fielder Tafadzwa Rusike to train­ing ahead of the trip to Cha­pungu this Satur­day for the de­ci­sive match.

The mid­fielder is likely to play a part in the fi­nal game of the sea­son af­ter he man­aged to train with his team­mates yes­ter­day. Makepekepe are in­volved in a fierce bat­tle for this year’s ti­tle with FC Plat­inum who travel to Bulawayo to face Tsholot­sho at Lu­veve.

Their team man­ager Shake­speare Chinog­wenya yes­ter­day said Rusike was be­ing mon­i­tored by the club’s med­i­cal per­son­nel as he con­tin­ues re­cov­er­ing from a shoul­der in­jury he suf­fered in the 1-0 win over Ngezi Plat­inum Stars in the Green Ma­chine’s last game at the Na­tional Sports Sta­dium on Sun­day.

Rusike was in­volved in a nasty chal­lenge with Ngezi Plat­inum Stars de­fender Tal­ent Cham­boko just be­fore half-time and could not re­turn to the pitch af­ter the breather.

How­ever, Chinog­wenya yes­ter­day said Makepekepe are expecting a clean bill of health if noth­ing dra­matic hap­pens be­fore their de­par­ture to­mor­row.

“The good thing is he (Rusike) trained with the team today (yes­ter­day) and if he can train again to­mor­row that will be a pos­i­tive sign on his part.

“He is re­cov­er­ing well. The in­jury was not as bad as it looked on Sun­day. So we are expecting to have all our play­ers avail­able if noth­ing hap­pens be­tween now and Satur­day,” said Chinog­wenya.

Makepekepe are also set to wel­come their skip­per Moses Muchenje who missed the last as­sign­ment be­cause of sus­pen­sion.

The team in­ten­si­fied their prepa­ra­tions for the crit­i­cal last game of the sea­son with almost all play­ers turn­ing up at Bar­clays Sports Club this week.

Chinog­wenya said morale was high in the camp. This has been an im­por­tant week for the Green Ma­chine who are seek­ing to end an 11-year drought in the cham­pi­onship cam­paign.

Caps United coach Lloyd Chitem­bwe be­lieves Makepekepe are well po­si­tioned and will not want to take chances in the last match.

Ex­cite­ment could be their big­gest enemy but Chitem­bwe be­lieves his charges have so far han­dled the pres­sure well.

Makepekepe took their points tally to 60 af­ter edg­ing Ngezi Plat­inum Stars while FC Plat­inum moved to 58 points with the big 3-0 win over High­landers.

This meant the league race will have to be de­cided on the fi­nal day of the sea­son as both teams have gen­uine chances of lift­ing the sil­ver­ware de­pend­ing on the re­sults on Satur­day.

In a ti­tle race that has been riv­et­ing in the last three months, Caps United now need an out­right vic­tory to be guar­an­teed the cham­pi­onship.

A draw will not be good enough for them if FC Plat­inum win at Lu­veve. The plat­inum min­ers are still in the race with a big shout but their prospects largely de­pend on whether Caps United fail to win.

Tafadzwa Rusike

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