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In and out- The 8 most injury-prone players in the Uganda Premier league

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Vipers SC duo of Muhammad Shaban and Rashid Toha were both signed in the summer transfer window but only Toha has featured in one game as Vipers SC drew 2-2 with Mbarara City on 14th September 2019 at St. Mary’s Stadium Kitende.

Since then, the duo is said to have undergone operations on their knees which has seen them remain on the sidelines for over 8 months.

Both players’ careers have been heavily impacted with injury problems over the past few years. Now, they face a race to prove their form and fitness for probably the coming season.

They maybe the example we have used here but are not the only players in Uganda’s top flight whose careers have suffered greatly from those nagging injuries.

The abilities possessed by some of these players would have developed greatly if it were not that they have always been in, out and out.

Here’s our collection of the 8 players who have failed to make the most of their careers due to injuries – they are injury prone.

Muhammad Shaban (Vipers SC)

Muhammed Shaban has always formed a pivotal part of the teams he has been at both club and country level. However, many times, they have had to do without him because of his recurring injury problems that always keep him out of action.

Despite breaking through in 2016 after guiding Onduparaka FC to the top flight and winning the 2016 player of the year award, Shaban has never reached a 30-game mark in a single season of the Startimes Uganda Premier League and has amassed only 9 caps for the National team, yet he should be at least 30 or more by this point in time.

Knee injuries have been his biggest undoing.

After a successful knee surgery in November last year, if all goes well, the Cranes international is expected to return to the fold and maybe make a mark.

Rashid Toha (Vipers)

Rashid Toha departed Onduparaka FC last season after 6 years at the club and will is largely regarded as one of the best defenders to have played for the Caterpillars.

He has also missed games for both Onduparaka and Vipers with the injury, the latest being the longest lay-off the player has experienced in his career.

In 2017, Toha limped off in Onduparaka’s 2-1 away win agianst Express FC on 20th October, and was sidelined for over two months before he returned on 19th December against Masavu FC at Bugonga in Entebbe.

Having put pen to paper on a 3-year contract at Vipers SC in July 2019, Toha has only managed to feature in one game for the Venoms which was on the 14th August 2019 in a 2-all draw against Mbarara City FC. Since then, he has missed 24-games and could be forced to remain on the sidelines for the rest of the season.

Saddam Juma (KCCA FC)

He may have played more games than the first two, but KCCA FC’s midfield maestro is another injury-prone player whose career remains stunted as a result of being in and out, out on many occasions.

The former Express FC midfielder has been labelled a ‘tournament-returnee’ as a result of returning from injuries when the national team has a trip or a tournament to play.

Now ’26 years old’, he has been at KCCA FC for 3-years. He has amassed just over 4 league appearances this season.

Most of this season has seen him absent with a cruciate ligament injury after he missed the entire first round of the season and five games into the second round. He made his return on 18th February 2020 as a substitute in the goalless draw against Vipers SC at St. Mary’s Stadium.

All in all, he has been utterly unavailable for Mike Mutebi to plan around. Saddam Juma’s absence has largly forced Mutebi to play an inconsistent midfield which has seen them struggle to challenge an inconsistent Vipers for the title.

Bashir Mutanda (SC Villa)

SC Villa’s Bashir Mutanda is a key player for his club, but the nagging muscular injuries have hampered his ability to make a consistent and lasting impression.

Hamstring problems have disrupted his 2019-20 season, leaving him to play in only half of his team’s matches

Just like Shaban, Mutanda hasn’t hit the 30-league-game mark since 2017 and has never managed it at all with his present club.

Siraje Ssentamu (Vipers SC)

If Vipers SC defensive midfielder Siraje Ssentamu was available for all the 25 games played so far this season, Vipers would probably be in a more comfortable league position. They may be doing well anyway, but it would be a lot easier for them if he were consistently fit.

Ssentamu has managed just 18 league appearances since joining Vipers SC last year and has been on the sidelines for 8 games this season.

Halid Lwaliwa (Vipers SC)

The center half suffered a medial collateral ligament tear in his right knee while playing for Uganda Cranes in the Regional Tour match against Kitara Region in Fort Portal in May 2017. He was later operated on at the famous Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services in Uganda (CORSU) but has never returned to normal.

It’s now almost 18 months on, but the converted striker, now defender is still yet to rediscover the power, pace, and all-round mobility that he had before that injury.

The former Uganda Premier League defender of the year has managed only 14-league appearances this season and has been sidelined for 12 games

Jackson Nunda (KCCA FC)

KCCA FC’s Jackson Nunda ranks closest to Saddam Juma for the “most often injured” player award at the club.

The attacking midfielder suffered greatly with Knee problems earlier in his career, but his big issue at the Startimes Stadium has been his hamstrings.

He has had at least 16 separate absences this season as a result of his hamstring problems and has managed just 9 league appearances so far for KCCA this season.

Joshua Okiror (Proline FC)

For all his abilities and promise, the Proline boy, a winger, Joshua Okiror has failed to nail down a long-term place on the starting team since promotion because of injuries.

The former St. Juliana exciting winger is known for having come through the ranks at Proline with the likes of Bright Anukani, Wamanah, Bunjo, Ajuna and others who have become regulars on the team but has not been available for most of the time.

One of the most promising players Okiror has fallen  so far behind his mates Anukani and Bunjo who were a bit below the rating of the forward, all because he spends more time on the sidelines due to injuries.

Thigh problems, calf injuries, ankles, knocks, broken foot…you name it, Okiror has probably seen it all.

Ronald Yiga
Senior Staff Writer at Touchline Sports covering largely football

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