September 18, 2021

Okumu: Kenya defender returns from injury as IF Elfsborg held in Sweden

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The Harambee Stars striker featured for 70 minutes after returning from an injury layoff in his team’s league fixture

Kenya international Joseph Okumu returned from injury as IF Elfsborg claimed a 3-3 draw against IK Sirius FK in a Swedish top flight match played on Monday.

The towering defender has been missing in action since he picked up an injury and was stretchered off during their 2-1 win against Kalmar FF, three weeks ago.

However, Okumu was given the opportunity to start after recovering from the injury and he featured for 70 minutes before being substituted.

Okumu., who suffered muscle problems, has confirmed to Goal his happiness of returning to action after staying out for at least three weeks.

“I feel great to play again, I am happy I was finally involved and the 70 minutes is not bad for a player who is coming from injury,” Okumu told Goal on Tuesday.

“I now want to cement my place in the team, as I had done before the injury, and help my team do well this season.”

The draw saw Okumu’s side move third on the 16-team table with 21 points from 12 matches, four fewer than table-toppers IFK Norrköping FK, who have played a similar number of matches while Malmö FF are second also on 25 points.

Okumu’s Elfsborg will next AIK in another league match on Wednesday.

In a recent interview, Okumu revealed to Goal he would love to captain the national team sometime in the future.

The 23-year-old centre-back has been one of the rising stars in the country and his exceptional display in the 2019 Afcon held in Egypt sealed his place in the first XI.

The youngster played in all three matches in Group C – the 2-0 loss to Algeria before helping the team to a 3-2 win against close neighbours and rivals Tanzania and eventually losing 3-0 to Senegal.

“It is a dream for any player to captain his national team,” Okumu told Goal when asked whether he wishes to skipper Harambee Stars in future.

“If an opportunity to [captain] the team comes my way, I will take it with both hands. It will be a privilege, but if it does not, my job is to give my country the best services and I will continue pushing myself harder on the pitch.”

In 2017, the towering defender was released by South African side Free State Stars after barely one season.