HARARE-MACAULEY BONNE has handed new Warriors coach Zdravko ‘‘Loga’’ Logarusic a huge boost by confirming his availability for the 2021 AFCON qualifiers against African champions Algeria next month.
The 24-year-old hitman, who plays for English Championship side Charlton Athletic, pulled out of the qualifiers against Botswana, which ended goalless in Harare, and against Zambia, which the Warriors won 2-1 in Lusaka last year.
Tests had revealed he needed urgent medical examination.
Bonne, part of the British Brigade who have been lured to play for the Warriors, had appeared set to make his AFCON debut against the Zebras after he was finally issued with a Zimbabwean passport.
Although he had committed himself to playing for the Warriors at the 2019 Nations Cup finals in Egypt, where the team’s shortcomings in attack were crudely exposed, Bonne could not fulfil his dream because he did not have a Zimbabwean passport.
However, the Warriors team management helped him secure a passport, after the AFCON finals, only for the striker’s long-awaited debut — in either a World Cup or Nations Cup game — to be derailed by medical complications.
Some conspiracy theorists quickly started circulating unfounded reports that the striker was now having a change of heart, and rather than feature for the Warriors, he was now eyeing a dance with the Three Lions of England for his international football career.
However, English Championship side Charlton Athletic revealed Bonne had, indeed undergone medical tests, and had been given the greenlight to continue with his professional football career.
“The club’s medical team can confirm that Macauley Bonne underwent some planned cardiac investigations last week following a recent routine cardiac screen,’’ Charlton Athletic said in a statement.
“The results of these investigations have been discussed with the sports cardiologist and the player will continue to play and train as normal.
“The club will continue to regularly screen his heart, as recommended, as we do with all our players from U15 through to the first team.”
Bonne, who has scored eight goals for Charlton Athletic in 19 appearances in the Championship, the second-tier league in English football, says he can’t wait to feature for the Warriors next month.
In conversation with Warriors team manager, Wellington Mpandare, yesterday, the striker said he was ready to finally represent his motherland in a Nations Cup qualifier.
Zimbabwe first travel to Algeria for a clash against the Desert Foxes before hosting the African champions at home in back-to-back matches next month.
Bonne revealed he now wears a special heart rate monitor, to check his heart rate, as part of the measures which the medical specialists came up with to enable him to continue playing professional football.
‘‘I can’t wait to come in March,’’ Bonne said. ‘‘I’m ready man, can’t wait to come.’’ Herald