Injury has ruled out key Zambia utility midfielder Kondwani Mtonga from this weekend’s 2018 CHAN first leg away qualifier against Bafana Bafana.

The Zesco United defensive midfielder sustained an injury last Sunday after scoring a stoppage time goal for the league leaders in their 2-0 home win over Nakambala Leopards in Ndola.

Kondwani’s absence is a massive blow for Zambia where he a pivotal figure just in front of the back four.

“Kondwani has a very big cut on top of the left eye. He is out , we will miss him in midfield but we have replacements,” Zambia coach Wedson Nyirenda said.

Nyirenda said Green Buffaloes’ Jack Chirwa and Nkana defender Donashao Malama may take Kondwani’s place.

Kondwani is also set to miss Zesco’s home league game against Lusaka Dynamos on Thursday due to the same injury.

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Toaster Nsabata has been certified fit for Thursday’s trip to South Africa after recovering from an injury he sustained in Zanaco’s 1-1 home draw against Green Eagles on Monday.

“Toaster Nsabata is much better and trained on Wednesday morning. It is encouraging for us I think he is looking good,” Nyirenda said.

Meanwhile, Zambia depart for South Africa on Thursday for East London where the first leg, final round qualifier will be played on August 12.

The final leg decider is set for August 19 in Ndola.