Malawiâ€™s midfielder John â€˜CJâ€™ Banda has been ruled out of the Flames international friendly match against Uganda Cranes on August 15 and the ultimate 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Ghana.
Banda broke his left leg last week during a TNM Super League game against Bvumbwe Research at Zomba Community Centre ground.
FAM chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda disclosed this at the Chiwembe Technical Centre on Friday when releasing a 25-member squad for the Uganda game. The Flames are preparing for a trip to Ghana on the weekend of September 9. Banda confirmed the news about his injury in an interview on Friday.
â€œI was rushed to Zomba Central Hospital. Further treatment at Kamuzu Central Hospital had me on plaster of Paris. The doctor said I would be out for eight weeks,â€ he said.
â€œI am definitely out of the first leg against Ghana. If all goes well, then I might be available for the second leg, but it will also depend on my level of fitness,â€ said Banda on Sunday.
He attributed his injury to the poor state of the Zomba Community Centre ground pitch.
â€œThe pitch is in urgent need of attention. I accidentally stepped on the ball because of the bumpy conditions and I twisted my leg in the process just above the left ankle,â€ said Banda.
â€˜Cause for worryâ€™
Flames coach Kinnah Phiri has described the development as a big blow.
â€œIt is a big blow because â€˜CJâ€™ was at his top of his game and he has scored vital goals for the national team.
â€œIt is cause for worry, but we hope to find a suitable replacement for him,â€ said Kinnah.
Bandaâ€™s dexterity on the ball has been matched by the ferocity of his commitment at both club and national level.
He is not among the 25-member squad that Kinnah has called up for August 15 international friendly match against Uganda Cranes in preparation for Ghana.
Bandaâ€™s absence has created room for Flames coach Kinnah Phiri to give a second chance to Big Bullets captain Douglas Chirambo and Civo United midfielder Patrick Gunde.
One-touch master, Gunde is probably one of the most underrated ball-passers on the domestic scene and he gets his place in the squad that has Civo defender John Lanjesi returning after a lengthy injury lay-off.
Blue Eagles exciting winger Micius Mhone also made a call-up. Uganda will arrive on August 13. They last beat Malawi 2-1 in another friendly game in 2009. At the 2010 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup, Malawi held them 1-1.