Zesco United have been hit by further injury setbacks heading into their penultimate league game of the season in Wednesday’s must-win away clash against Nakambala Leopards.
The 2015 champions have three high profile absentees for the delayed Week 17 game against Nakambala bringing to six the number of players sidelined with injuries on the final stretch of the season.
Zesco top scorer on 15 goals Jesse Were, defender Ben Banh and midfielder Kondwani Mtonga are all out of the visit to Mazabuka.
The trio sustained injuries in Sunday’s first leg meeting with Nakambala that Zesco won 1-0 in Ndola thanks to a 72nd minute goal from Ayo Oluwafemi.
Were has a groin injury, Banh an ankle problem, while Kondwani has a knee injury.
Were and Banh were substituted in the 18thand 26th minute of Sunday’s match while Kondwani started and finished the match.
However, the trio has travelled to Mazabuka with coach Tenant Chembo hoping they can recover in time for Saturday’s final clash away against Lumwana Radiants.
The trio join striker Jackson Mwanza, midfielder Mwape Mwelwa and defender Simon Silwimba on the sideline who will not play again this season.
Meanwhile, third placed Zesco must beat demoted Nakambala again on Wednesday to move two points clear of second placed Nkana ahead of Saturday’s final round of matches that should decide this year’s FAZ Super Division runners-up.
Zesco and Nkana have 66 and 67 points with two and one game left to play respectively.
Nkana will face Forest Rangers away on December 10 in Ndola.
The runners-up will represent Zambia in the 2017 CAF Confederation Cup.