Onyango: I don’t blame Wagaba

Onyango has returned following a knock to the head from Polokwane City midfielder Mbulelo Wagaba during their Absa Premiership clash last Tuesday.

The Ugandan shot-stopper had many fans concerned over his wellbeing after he was immediately rushed off the Peter Mokaba Stadium pitch and straight to hospital.

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However, he was later confirmed to be okay and has since joined his teammates on their trip to Morocco, where Sundowns will face Wydad Casablanca in their penultimate CAF Champions League Group C encounter on Friday.

After missing out on the MTN8 quarterfinal victory over Golden Arrows on the weekend, Onyango is happy to be back in the thick of things as he stresses the value of merely being present in The Brazilians’ camp.

“It’s very nice to be around the team again. I’m not used to staying home and away from football, but it’s good that I’m with the guys and the feeling is good,” Onyango said.

“As long as I’m with the team, it’s not necessarily important that I’m the one playing; anyone can play and we could win – Kennedy Mweene played the last game and we won.

“So, for me, it’s just to be with the team. Seeing them win and getting to the next stage of the Champions League is very important.”

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Reflecting on the incident, the former Africa-based Player of the Year says he holds no hard feelings against Wagaba, and was also encouraged by the messages of concern and support he received across various platforms last week.

“All I know is that he knocked me out with an elbow while I was up in the air, but I don’t blame him. It’s a game of challenges and it’s a contact sport,” he added.

“So, for me, it’s okay. It’s not good to be knocked out but it’s part of the game, you can’t avoid the contact in this sport.

“It was a concern for everyone, especially the supporters and my teammates, as well as back home [in Uganda] – of course, people also worry about the national team because we’re playing a big game next month.

“So, it’s a good experience also to know that people care about you, but at the same time I’m happy to be back with the team and at least travelling to see whether we can get the result in Morocco. If I’m given a chance and I’m ready, I’ll play.”

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Asked if he would be ready, Onyango responded: “That’s for the medical team to decide. I only had my first training session on Monday, since I was knocked out in Polokwane, so it’s not up to me.”

Above: All smiles in Sundowns training as Denis Onyango enjoys a light-hearted moment with teammates.