Sunday Aug 22, 2021. 12:00
Chipolopolo Zambia striker Fashion Sakala’s availability for next week’s FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B qualifier against Mauritania is in the balance.
The Glasgow Rangers striker has been out of action for the last fortnight for the champions of Scotland due to a groin injury.
Sakala has missed Rangers’ last two games and his last competitive match for the Glasgow giants was on August 10 when he came on as second half substitute in the clubs’ 2-1 home loss to Swedish club Malmo FF in a UEFA Champions League third round, last leg fixture at Ibrox.
Rangers coach Steven Gerrard told the clubs’ official website that they may have rushed him into action straight after serving his mandatory Covid-19 quarantine upon arrival in the United Kingdom following his permanent move on a three-year deal to the Glasgow giants in July from Belgian club KV Oostende.
“Sakala has got a bit of a niggle in his groin, I think he is paying for myself and the staff pushing him a little bit too quickly and not getting a full pre-season. I think part of that niggle is on me as well so that is a frustrating one but what we don’t want to do is make it worse so hopefully he won’t be too far away as well,” Gerrard said.
With three games left before the FIFA international match break, Chipolopolo coach Beston Chambeshi now faces an anxious wait over Sakala’s recovery.
Sakala’s injury layoff may also just see him miss a dream debut in the Glasgow derby against visitors Celtic in what will also be Rangers final game before the September break on August 29.
The big Glasgow derby will come six days before Chipolopolo’s opening Qatar qualifiers Group B fixture away to Mauritania on September 3 in Nouakchott.