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Kenya Pipeline faces injury nightmare ahead of title hunt  

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Four injuries might derail Kenya Pipeline’s hopes of breaking an eight-year drought and winning the Africa Volleyball Club Championship. To rub salt into the wounds, the team was told on Friday that their most valuable player Evelyn Makuto will not be eligible to play when the tournament starts in Cairo, Egypt on March 6.

Makuto, who was declared the most valuable player in the league last season, is ineligible to play for the seven-time African champions after she featured for the United Arab Emirates at the Arab Club Championship, two weeks ago.

Libero player Aggripina Kundu, Christine Siwa, Easter Wangechi and Sinaida Yvonne are all battling to shake off injuries and be fit in time to travel with the team to Cairo.

“The training has been going on well though we remained concerned with the fitness of the four injured players. Coaches like it when they have problems in selection because they have more options to pick from. But these injuries are giving me headaches,” said coach Japheth Munala on Tuesday in Nairobi.

“I hope they will be okay before we wind up our training on Friday. We are however optimistic of a good show in Egypt,” said Munala.

The closest Pipeline has ever come to winning Africa’s most prestigious club competition in the last decade was in 2015 when they lost in the final.

Their last win was back in 2008 and Munala is still waiting for his first title at the continental level with Kenya Pipeline and he believes the 2018 tournament may just provide him that glimmer of hope.

Among the teams eyeing the continental glory are hosts Al-Ahly of Egypt, who have been successful in the competition a record eight times.

Last year, Prisons won the bronze after edging out Al-Ahly 3-2 in an event that was hosted in Monastir, Tunisia with the home side Carthage beating El-Shams in the final to claim the gold medal. 



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