The Sunday Mail
SIDELINED Caps United captain Hardlife Zvirekwi is making tremendous strides at training and could make a return to the pitch sooner than expected.
Zvirekwi, who turned 31 last Sunday and celebrated with his family and some Makepekepe fans, had his left arm amputated by the wrist following an accident suffered in March.
The former Warriors defender has been training alone with the hope of making a sensational comeback in the second half of the season.
Caps United fitness trainer Majaha Ndlovu has been working on strengthening Zvirekwi’s amputated hand with the emphasis being on balance when tackling.
And Zvirekwi has responded well amid indications that Makepekepe coach Lloyd Chitembwe is mulling adding the versatile player to his squad during the midseason transfer window.
But before that happens, Zvirekwi is just grateful to be still alive.
“I am really grateful to God for saving my life and to celebrate another year was so touching, awesome and incredible.“This birthday came as a blessing to me considering the horrific accident I had. It was a different kind of birthday because I might not have reached this day because of that accident,” a thoughtful Zvirekwi told The Sunday Mail Sport on the sidelines of Caps United’s training session at the National Sports last Thursday.
“Yes, things have changed now and I have to improvise. I have been teaching my brain to understand the new situation. It’s not easy but with time I have come to accept my situation, I am getting used to it.
“I am amazed by some of the things I am able to do. God willing I will be getting back soon, most probably the second half of the season.
“When tackling normally you need both hands, but I now have to rely on one hand. So I am adjusting my tackles to suit my hand.”
Caps United fitness trainer Ndlovu is confident Zvirekwi will write his own piece of history in the second half of the season.
“Hardlife is a born again in football, he is determined because he is a family man. He will come back sooner than expected, watch the space,” he added.
“He will be falling on that hand, he will fight for possession with that hand because it’s still a hand. He can even fight with that hand,” Ndlovu jokingly added.
Zvirekwi will be cheering his troops when Caps United host log leaders Ngezi Platinum Stars at the National Sports this afternoon.
Ngezi arrive in the capital for the first time with eight wins and two draws after 10 games and are the only unbeaten team in the league so far.
However, the Mhondoro-based side has never beaten Caps united in a league match since gaining promotion in 2016.
In fact, Ngezi Platinum have failed to score against Caps United in Harare.They lost 1-0 and 3-0 in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
And Zvirekwi has been rallying his teammates, especially upcoming star Valentine Musarurwa who at some point was his understudy at right back.
“We have an understanding with Vale (Musarurwa), we give each other tips. I am his senior and sometimes he has to listen to my advice.
“I have been trying to encourage the rest of the guys that this game against Ngezi should not put us under pressure.
“We want to take away that pressure and play our normal game so that as Caps United we win this one for the supporters,” Zvirekwi said.
Makepekepe are winless in their last two matches and are now 10 points behind Ngezi Platinum Stars.