Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Victor Wanyama will not be part of the Kenya team when they play two international friendlies against Swaziland and Equatorial Guinea, as his club feels he needs to rest.
Wanyama had been expected to join the national team ahead of the first friendly on Friday against Swaziland, and the second on May 28th at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.
“Tottenham has written to us making it clear that Wanyama needs rest so that he recovers fully from the injury [he picked up] while featuring for the club,” Barry Otieno, the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) head of communications, told KweséESPN.
Wanyama missed nearly five months of the Premier League season, after picking up a serious knee injury in August last year, and made a return from the bench in January. He made 18 league appearances this past season, 10 from the bench, and scored one goal.
“We had written to Tottenham requesting that Wanyama be allowed to feature for the national team since he had been off for long because of injury. But the club replied on Wednesday and we shall miss our inspirational captain,” Otieno added.
In March, the Kenya skipper played one game against Comoros in an international friendly in Marrakech, Morocco, where he scored the opening goal from the spot.
The player, who traveled with a personal physician appointed by Spurs, however missed the second game against the Central African Republic.
Kenya, who are the CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup defending champions, are using the two international friendlies to prepare ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers later this year.
Newly-appointed head coach Sébastien Migne will need to make do with the players he has available, and thanked local clubs for releasing their stars.
“I want to thank our local clubs for releasing their players. We have had our first session today with all the local players, which is a good build-up ahead of our first match on Friday,” he said.
The Harambee Stars started the qualification campaign with a 2-1 loss away to Sierra Leone, and will host Ghana on September 7th in their second Group F match, before they face Ethiopia away on October 10th in Addis Ababa.
Midfielder Francis Kahata, who has played a key role in helping League champions Gor Mahia qualify for the group stage of the CAF Confederations Cup, is among the players called to the national team.
Goalkeepers: Patrick Matasi (Posta Rangers), Timothy Odhiambo (Ulinzi Stars), Boniface Oluoch (Gor Mahia)
Defenders: Jockins Atudo (Posta Rangers), Musa Mohammed (Unattached), Haron Shakava (Gor Mahia), Joash Onyango (Gor Mahia), Bolton Omwenga, Erick Ouma, Michael Kibwage (AFC Leopards), Philemon Otieno (Gor Mahia), Johnstone Omurwa (Mathare United)
Midfielders: Chrispin Oduor (Mathare United), Humphrey Mieno (Gor Mahia), Francis Kahata (Gor Mahia), Whyvonne Isuza (AFC Leopards), Vincent Wasambo (Kariobangi Sharks), Duncan Otieno (AFC Leopards), Patillah Omotto (Kariobangi Sharks), Marvin Omondi (AFC Leopards)
Attackers: Ovella Ochieng (Kariobangi Sharks), Timothy Otieno (Tusker), Cliff Nyakeya (Mathare United), Jafari Owiti (AFC Leopards), Pistone Mutamba (Wazito FC)