Denis Iguma~4

International friendly

Saturday, 6pm

Uganda v Rwanda

CRANES will negotiate the CECAFA Challenge Cup and 2014 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) hurdles without versatile defender Denis Iguma.

The SC Victoria University captain has been out of competitive football for the last two months due to a troublesome knee injury.

He had been expected to return soon but recent medical scans indicate Iguma needs an urgent operation to fully recover. He is expected to have one in Dubai and will spend another three months rehabilitating.

“His career is under serious threat. The injury he suffered on his left knee was worse than earlier thought. His club is now organising to fly him to Dubai to have an operation,” Micho said on Friday.

Iguma’s withdrawal from the Cranes side preparing to defend its regional title in Nairobi confirmed Micho’s fears of making the trip to Nairobi with a particularly disjointed midfield.

“It definitely creates a problem for me now. Now I need to find solutions,” Micho added.

The Serbian will feel Iguma’s absence principally because he is three players in one.

The youthful player does not only offer defensive cover at the heart of defence and right-back, he also adjusts and fits well into the holding midfield role.

On Wednesday, the Cranes successfully dispatched the University side with a 2-0 win but that did not conceal the fact that Cranes will struggle in the absence of midfielders Hassan Wasswa (Vietnam) and now Iguma — two players that previously offered an imposing presence defensively and going forward.

Against the University side, Micho opted for KCCA star Tom Matsiko and URA’s Oscar Agaba. But the two midfielders were clearly no Wasswa or Iguma.

What are the options?

The first option would be shifting Richard Kasagga to holding midfield but that would leave a vacuum at the back —a crisis that only Isaac Isinde or Joseph Owino can resolve.

But both players are foreign-based and it’s unlikely that Micho will turn on his word of ignoring professional players for the regional tournament.

The second alternative is considering the more natural choice in Godfrey ‘Baba’ Kizito. Kizito is a free agent and should be readily available for any assignment as he plots for his next club transfer.

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