Kenyan defender set to miss 2019 AFCON with knee injury

Kenya has lost defender Brian Mandela to injury ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations which is scheduled to begin later this month.

The Maritzburg United player injured his knee in during a Harambee Stars' training session on Monday, and hence will not be available for selection for the elite continental competition.

“Brian (Mandela) got injured in training. He is one of our key players and will not be available for Afcon. We will need to find a solution,” coach Sébastien Migné confirmed.

“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 DR Congo but he could be available for Afcon.”

Migné however expressed confidence that the East African will find a solution to their injury issues, noting that he led the side to  famous win against Ghana in AFCON qualification without key players.

“We won against Ghana without key players. It is always problematic for the coach but we will try to find a solution,” Migne added.

AFCON will officially begin on June 21 with host Egypt playing against Zimbabwe. The tournament will run until July 19 when the final will be played.

Kenya is pooled alongside Senegal, Algeria and Tanzania in Group C, and will play their first match against Algeria on June 23.

This will be the Harambee Stars' sixth appearance in the elite competition, having previously played in the 1972, 1988, 1990, 1992 and 2004 editions.