Serbian magical healer to Gyan’s aid

BY: Maurice Quansah
Mariana Kovacevic/Asamoah Gyan

Black Stars captain, Asamoah Gyan, may not be completely out of the Africa Cup of Nations tournament and may need the ‘magical’ healing of the famous Serbian traditional healer, Mariana Kovacevic, to ensure he regains his fitness for Ghana’s quarter-final clash with DR Congo on Sunday.

Gyan sustained a thigh injury during Ghana’s group clash with Egypt and was substituted in the 40th minute by Jordan Ayew. He subsequently underwent a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) test in the Gabonese capital of Libreville yesterday to ascertain the extent of the injury after which it was discovered that the injury was not as serious as it was initially feared.

Information gathered by the Graphic Sports indicates that the Al Ahli Dubai and Black Stars medical staff are hopeful that Mariana, renowned for using horse placenta to speed up the healing of injured players, would be able to get the Ghana legend back to fitness for an earlier-than-expected return to the competition.

It was initially feared that Gyan’s injury would rule him out of the tournament completely, but the MRI test on his obturator muscles provided a glimmer of hope for his return.
“Gyan says the injury is not as bad as feared and he is in high spirits. We are waiting for the team doctor to work on the report of the MRI test,” a close associate of the player told the Graphic Sports yesterday as the veteran of six AFCON tournaments and the team’s physician, Dr Adam Baba, left Libreville to meet the team in Oyem.

Now, all eyes will be on Kovacevic to give the Ghana team a big boost against DR Congo at the Stade de Oyem, and how significant it would be for Gyan to play against the Leopards on Sunday as it marks a milestone in his illustrious international career.

If Gyan regains his fitness and is selected for Sunday’s match, he will join an exclusive club of players to have made 100 international appearances for Ghana. He is also one goal shy of reaching the 50-goal mark.

The Serbian therapist, who specialises in muscle injuries, was first introduced to the team as a back-up member of the medical staff by her compatriot and former Ghana coach, Milovan Rajevac, at the 2010 FIFA World Cup to speed up the healing process of injured players such as defenders Isaac Vorsah and John Mensah.

She has since been an integral part of the Stars during tournaments, including the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and the last three AFCON tournaments.