Three Kenya Simbas rugby players are yet to receive treatment for the injuries sustained during Kenya’s unsuccessful Rugby World Cup qualifier’s repecharge in Marseille, France in November last year.
Back-row duo of Dalmus Chituyi (Homeboyz) and KCB’s Martin Owilah and hooker Coleman Were (Kabras Sugar) were injured when Kenya took on Germany, Hong Kong and Canada in a bid to qualify for Rugby World Cup that kicks off in September in Japan.
The players are yet to play for their respective clubs this season as they wait for the union to facilitate their treatment that include surgery and subsequent rehabilitation process.
Chituyi told Nation Sport that he is still in the dark regarding timelines on when he will go under the knife. The former Top Fry Nakuru hard man tore his right knee meniscus.
KCB’s Owilah, who damaged his left knee cartilage, is not happy at how Kenya Rugby Union have handled their cases. “I am told there are issues with insurance but I think things should have been handled better,” he said.
Kenya Simbas team manager Wangila Simiyu acknowledged that there has been a delay but exonerated the team management from blame saying they did their work by presenting the medical cases to the Union.
“The Union is in a better place to explain the delays,” said Wangila.
KRU director of rugby Thomas Odundo said there have been various reasons that occasioned the delay in the treatment of the players.
Odundo said that the unavailability of specialists and insurance cover complications were some to the reasons for the delay but revealed that Chituyi and Were are up for surgeries on Tuesday while Owilah will undergo his on February 19.
Odundo explained that upon return from France, the players could not be treated since the specialists they usually deal with at Kijabe Hospital were not available.
“The year ended without securing an appointment since most of the doctors were only available after Christmas festivities,” Odundo said.
“What complicated things is that the insurance cover for the players elapsed at the end of December last year.”
Odundo said the technicalities have already been addressed with the insurance firm and the players will get treated with the recovery period set to stretch up to five months hence locking them out the whole of this season.
Odundo clarified that Kenya Simbas salaries had been paid and what is pending is the players match fees rather playing allowances.
“They also need to be sincere since we have paid their salaries and we shall offset their allowances immediately we get funds. As we said earlier, the Union is experiencing a financial crunch,” said Odundo.
Owilah challenged the Union to set up a kitty that can handle such emergencies so as to avoid players wasting away. “Three months is a long period to wait and that is why clubs might in future not agree to release their players,” said Owilah.
“Club invest in these players and it doesn’t augur when they are not treated well.”