Harambee Stars defender in Egypt after ‘successful’ surgery

Injured Harambee Stars defender Brian Mandela Thursday night arrived in Cairo, Egypt to a warm reception from France where he had undergone a successful surgery on his right knee.

Mandela suffered a meniscus tear in training on June 10, three days after helping the national team to a 1-0 win over Madagascar in an international friendly played in Paris. The injury effectively ruled the Maritzburg United defender out of head coach Sebasien Migne’s final 23-man squad for the Africa Cup of Nations.

“It has been hard to accept (the injury), especially because of its timing, but the support I have received from my teammates in the past few days has made it easier for me,” Mandela said.

“Football Kenya Federation has also made sure that my surgery was successful. The (Harambee Stars) Medical Team has also been supportive.”

“I may not be in a position to help the team on the pitch, but I am happy to be here to offer my support to the team, and hopefully they will do us proud.”

Stars open their 2019 Afcon campaign against former champions Algeria on Sunday at the 30 June Stadium, also know as the Air Defense Stadium, in Cairo.

They then tackle neighbours Tanzania on June 27 before closing their Group C assignments against pre-tournament favourites Senegal on July 1.