Injured star defender Mandela to travel to Egypt with Harambee Stars
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has said it will retain injured South African-based defender in the Africa Cup of Nations squad that travels to Egypt next week.
Mandela is also scheduled to undergo an operation on his knee on Tuesday in France.
The South African-based defender was injured in training last week and in the process lost his place in the Egypt bound team.
FKF president Nick Mwendwa said the player is undergoing tests to ascertain the extent of injury before going under the knife on Tuesday.
“Since he was injured on national duty, we have made the decision to pay for his surgery so that he can go continue with his career. He is being examined by several specialists and the decision has been made to have him operated on next week.
“We cannot let him go back to his club in that condition and take responsibility to ensure he gets well. After the operation, he will join the team in Egypt and just encourage his team-mates as they take part in the tournament,” he said.
Mandela said he was disappointed to miss out on the tournament but expressed confidence that the rest of the players will do well.
“It is a big disappointment but I have accepted the situation and want to wish my fellow players all the best as they take part in the tournament from next week. It was my dream to represent my country this year but unfortunately have to accept what has happened and wish them luck.”
Mandela said he hopes to be back to action soon. The player has been linked with a move to Orlando Pirates something that they now have to hold on due to the injury.
His absence has created space for USA-based Joseph Okumu at the backline.
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