The Kenya national team, Harambee Stars has been dealt a massive blow with the news that key defender Brian Mandela will miss the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON), the news coming just 11 days to the start of the competition.
The defender who featured in the team’s friendly match against Madagascar on Friday 7 June, picked a knee injury in the Monday 10 June training session and it has been confirmed he will not recover in time for the tournament.
Mandela, who plays in the South African top league, is among the senior players in the team and while head coach Sebastien Migne admitted it is a big blow, especially with Musa Mohamed also carrying a knock, he sounded positive that there will be enough players available to replace him.
“Brian got injured today in training. He is one of our key players and will not be available for AFCON. We will need to find a solution.
“It is not good for us and for him as well. Musa Mohamed also picked up a knock (in Harambee Stars’ friendly match against Madagascar). We cannot take a risk with him against DRC but he could be available for AFCON,” said the coach.
Kenya will play DR Congo in the final pre tournament friendly match on Saturday 15 June in Madrid, Spain, before heading to Egypt for the finals.