NAIROBI, Kenya, January 30 – Harambee Stars and Tusker FC custodian Duncan Ochieng’ might miss up to eight weeks of Kenyan Premier League action as he is set to undergo surgery on a fractured arm on Friday.
It is an unlucky occurrence for Ochieng’ as he has just returned to action following another long injury lay off, also with a fractured arm.
The news of Ochieng’s injury will not be a welcome development for Tusker who will now have to dive into the transfer market in search of another custodian barely 48 hours before the transfer window closes down.
The Brewers had already finalized their transfer activities and were only looking for one more striker to complete their business, but Ochieng’s injury will definitely scuttle coach Francis Kimanzi’s plans.
The team’s director Charles Obiny has intimated they will have to search for another keeper as they had already let off Samuel Odhiambo and Boniface Oluoch who joined Ushuru and Gor Mahia respectively.
“We had already finished up our transfer activities but now with Ochieng’s injury, we have to look for another goalkeeper. We had Farouk Sikhalo, Ochieng and a young keeper we had signed from Modern Coast Rangers Said Dhado, but we need to find an experienced cover since the two remaining keepers are young,” Obiny told Capital Sport.
“There was a Ugandan keeper we had spotted earlier on but dropped interest, but now it seems we will have to re-ignite our interest since we have one remaining slot for a foreigner,” he added.
Ochieng’ will feel undone by the injury especially coming at the backdrop of his hard work to get back to top form. Last season, he only returned to action a couple of games to the end of the campaign and he thought this would be the year to get to his best.
“It is very discouraging because I had trained very well throughout the pre-season campaign and I was feeling my great form coming back. I’m optimistic though that I will get back to the top and this will not deter me. What is more encouraging is that it is not as serious and maybe in two or so months I will be back,”Ochieng’ 37-year-old stated.
If Tusker will not manage to attract a top class keeper to the side, then the huge task will fall on the young shoulders of Harambee Stars Under-20 custodian Farouk Sikhalo who played sparingly last term.
Obiny believes Sikhalo is up to the task, “He played a couple of matches last season and he showed signs of maturity. This will be his second season playing in the league and definitely he has matured and can do well.”