Team doctor Nicholas Munyonga revealed during the Warriors training session Monday that after assessing Billiart’s injury, the player was not fit to join training this week nor to play against Guinea.
Munyonga said Billiart’s ankle is swollen adding that the player needs a rest while being attended to saying Billiart will only be able to resume training next Monday in time for the game against Mozambique set for June 10.
Billiart has risen to be one of the cornerstones of the Warriors, combining well with top striker Knowledge Musona and his presence in the crucial World Cup opener would have been vital.
Coach Rahman Gumbo admitted Billiart’s unavailability is a big blow to his plans but added that he still has 30 players in camp from whom to choose Billiart’s replacement.
He revealed that he has also called into camp Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Esrom Nyandoro as a probable replacement for Billiart in midfield.
Nyandoro arrived in Harare Monday after driving all the way from South Africa where he played for Sundowns against Supersport in the Nedbank Cup final but was not given arun in training by the Warriors technical team as they felt he needed a rest after the long drive.
Gumbo said apart from Billiart he has no other injury problems in the camp adding that he will field the best team available on Sunday.
He said he watched Guinea play Cameroon in a friendly match over the weekend. The national team coach said although the Guineans are big in stature, Zimbabwe had the capacity to upstage them, especially with the home advantage.
After playing Guinea this weekend, the Warriors will travel for another World Cup qualifier against Mozambique on June10. They will play the other team in the group Egypt in March next year.
The winner of the group will qualify for the final round of the World Cup finals to be held in Brazil in 2014.