By Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE Warriors and Nottingham Forest defender Tendayi Darikwa hopes to be fit enough to return to action before the end of the season as he continues his recovery from a serious injury he suffered before the start of the English Championship season.
The 27-year-old full-back has not played any competitive football since undergoing surgery on his right knee after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) on the eve of the new campaign in August.
After recently starting rehabilitation, Darikwa remains hopeful of making an appearance in the final games of the current season.
“So far, so good,” Darikwa said of his recovery. “It’s a long-term injury, so it’s slow progress. But I’m happy that I am making progress. The main thing is just to stay focused on the rehab, do everything that the doctors and the physios are telling me to do.
“Hopefully, I can then get back at the back end of the season.
“We haven’t put a timescale on an exact return date just yet, because it’s still so early.
“But I’m hopeful, with a bit of good luck and a lot of hard work, I might get lucky and play a few games.
“I’m just trying to build the muscle back up in my leg because I wasn’t able to put pressure on my leg for a good few weeks.
“I’ve been back in the gym, back on the bike and doing a lot of strength work at the minute.”
Darikwa was part of the Zimbabwe squad at the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt where he featured in all their group matches against the hosts, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo.
The AFCON participation came on the back of an impressive 2018/19 season for Darikwa in the English Championship where he made 31 appearances while battling for the right back spot on the team sheet with West Ham United loanee Sam Byram.
He was used sparingly in pre-season for the Reds after being away with his country, before suffering the injury blow in July.
Darikwa has been with Forest since 2016, when he joined from Burnley. Since his arrival at the City Ground, Darikwa has played 63 times, scoring one goal and assisting one goal along the way.
Prior to his Forest move, the Zimbabwean defender played 29 times for Burnley over the course of two seasons with the club. He had joined the Clarets from Chesterfield, where he came through the youth academy and played 150 times.