Philemon to wait until February to kick the ball

Kenya international Philemon Otieno is expected back to full action in February next year after full recovery following a successful surgery process.

The Gor Mahia utility player underwent a surgery in Nairobi a fortnight ago after struggling to raise funds for the operation for the last two months.

Otieno got injured on August 4 at the Moi International Sports Center Kasarani during a CHAN qualifier pitting Harambee Stars and Tanzani, but was abandoned by Football Kenya Federation (FKF) despite promising to take him to France for treatment.

Speaking to Citizen Digital after a long silence on the matter, Otieno said he is currently undergoing physiotherapy and his doctor has ruled him out for the rest of 2019.

Otieno distanced himself from the FKF failed action towards his treatment, only appreciating the generous initiative by a section of his teammates to foot his surgery bill.

“I want to thank God, my family members and friends for the support and generosity they showed at the time I needed them most. I have suffered a lot and I’m grateful at last I have had a successful operation,’’ explained Otieno.

The international right back singled out Kashiwa Reysol (Japan) striker Michael Olunga, Zambia’s Nkana defender Musa Mohamed and Belgian club Brugge defender Aboud Omar as some of the national team players who came to his aid through contributions.

Other players of the national team who joined hands to save his career include Johana Omolo, Simba’s Francis Kahata and Joseph Okumu, who plays for  IF Elfsborg SLC in Sweden.

“I have always wanted to remain silent on this issue since it has been widely politicised. I know what is expected of me as a player hence I can’t talk much about it. The most encouraging thing is that I have at last been operated on and I am hopeful of bouncing back to the pitch of play’’.

In an earlier interview with the FKF acting CEO Barry Otieno, Citizen Digital established FKF has no details about Philemon’s surgery.

On Monday, Gor CEO Lordvick Aduda said Otieno’s case notwithstanding, players will not be stopped from playing for Harambee Stars when called up.