- The much-anticipated return of the Harambee Starlet defender Irene Ogutu has suffered another setback after successful second surgery on her right knee last month. Starlets have endured without her for over two years now.
Ogutu, who was part of the Kenya women’s team that featured in the 2016 Africa Women Cup of Nations in Cameroon, had undergone surgery last year in the same knee after picking the injury during a friendly match between Starlets and her club Oserian, which features in the women’s Premier League.
The Starlets exited the African women’s showpiece football event, won by Nigeria, without registering any victory.
“I have been out of action for two years. I was hoping to make a comeback this year but I guess I will have to wait a little bit longer, and it hurts,” She expressed her pain.
“I believe I still have a lot to offer but we will see what happens after I have recovered. I know a lot of talents keep emerging and that in a way creates the much-needed competition for the slots in the national team which is good for the growth of the game,” Ogutu observed.
Ogutu, who also does refereeing on the side, was in the Starlets team that featured in the COTIF tournament in Spain in 2016. Starlets beat Portuguese champions Benfica 3-0 and home side RCD Espanyol 3-1 to earn a fourth-place finish.
After undergoing her first surgery early last year, Ogutu said she had begun light training but she would still feel some pain on the knee.
“I went to Kijabe hospital did some x-rays and I was told the first surgery was not successful. I went under the knife again last month and I hope this time it is for good,” the 30-year-old added.
With all sports activities suspended indefinitely, Ogutu has got some time to recover and hopefully, all will go well as the football resume after the pandemic COVID-19 is curbed.