Fit-again striker Emmanuel Mayuka has made a surprise arrival in camp as Zambia kicked off their preliminary training for its 2017 Africa Cup Group E home qualifier against Guinea Bissau on June 13.
Mayuka joined the team in Lusaka on Wednesday to reunite with his teammates for the first time since suffering a groin injury at the 2015 Africa Cup in Equatorial Guinea.
“Mayuka is in full training with the rest of his team mates here in Lusaka,” assistant Zambia team manager Stanley Kaseko said.
The Southampton striker has been out of action since suffering his injury in Zambia’s 2-1 loss to Tunisia in a Group B clash on January 22.
Mayuka joins Amazulu striker Bornwell Mwape, defender Aaron Katebe of FC Platinum in Zimbabwe and TP Mazembe midfielder Nathan Sinkala among the foreign-based players already in camp.
Also in camp is the Israel-based duo of defender Emmanuel Mbola and striker Evans Kangwa from Hapoel Ra’anana.
Kaseko said defender Stopilla Sunzu of Shanghai Shenhua in China and striker Ronald Kampamba from Egyptian club Wadi Delga will be the last players to join camp next week.
“Stopilla is expected on June 8 and Kampamba is also expected on that date,” Kaseko said.
Meanwhile, Zambia’s friendly against Ethiopia has been rescheduled from June 6 to June 8 in Addis Ababa forcing the team to change its departure date to Friday from Thursday.
The team is expected to fly back straight to Ndola on June 9 ahead of next Saturday’s Group E opening match there against Guinea Bissau at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.