Mali fitness worries ahead of Nations Cup football

AFP, Sunday 22 Jan 2012

Mali are sweating on the fitness of Guingamp striker Mustapha Yatabare and Metz midfielder Mahamane Traore for their opening Africa Cup of Nations Group D match against Guinea

Mustapha Yatabare of Mali (Photo: AFP)

Neither player took part in the team’s first training at the Bongoville Stadium on Saturday evening with officials insisting they have only picked up minor knocks and are not ruled out of the opening game on Tuesday.

"They are not nursing any major injuries, they are just knocks they picked up and they will be okay," said a team official.

The 23-year-old Traore is with over a score of caps one of the most experienced players in a relatively youthful Mali squad for this competition.

Mali have already been forced to make two late changes to their final squad for the tournament.

Toulouse defender Mohamed Fofana has been dropped after he suffered a thigh strain, while Denmark-based Khalilou Traore has also been replaced due to injury.

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