ZIMBABWE are hoping to have the 2016 Champions League winner Khama Billiat in their line-up for the Afcon qualifiers against Zambia and Botswana at the end of March, ZIFA have announced.
Kaizer Chiefs attacker Billiat is closing in on a return from injury, according to Zimbabwe Warriors team manager Wellington Mpandare.
Mpandare was commenting on the fitness of two Zimbabwean stars – Billiat and Knowledge Musona, who also previously played for Amakhosi and is now based with Belgian side KAS Eupen.
Zimbabwe have Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers coming up against Zambia and Botswana at the end of March.
“Khama is three or so weeks away from regaining full fitness but he is back in the gym while Knowledge has started some light training and it’s pointing to the right direction for their respective clubs and the Warriors at large,” Mpandare was quoted as saying by the Citizen.
“Its good for the coaches to have their full complement of players available,” the team manager added.
Chiefs have not issued any updates on Billiat’s status. He has been out of action since January 9, when he cracked his shin bone in the 2-0 defeat against Maritzburg United at the FNB Stadium. At the time he was forecast to be out for six weeks, a time frame which would have run up until around February 23.
Billiat has not been at his best over the past couple of seasons, but still remains one of Chiefs’ most viable options as a potential match-winner.
In nine league appearances this term, the former Mamelodi Sundowns and Ajax Cape Town star has scored once and provided three assists. He also has two assists from three MTN8 matches while failing to score or assist in four Champions League games.
Last season he played in 25 matches in all competitions and scored three goals and created two assists.
If he is indeed three weeks away from a return as Mpandare has stated, he could miss out on league games against AmaZulu, SuperSport United and TTM, as well as Champions League fixtures against Horoya and Atletico Petroleos Luanda.
A return could then be possible on March 10 – against Maritzburg United in the second round league encounter at the Harry Gwala Stadium. – Goal