Zimbabwean and Kaizer Chiefs international attacker Khama Billiat has recovered from a knee injury that has kept him on the sidelines for the past week and went straight into the Zim Warriors starting line-up for the crunch African Cup of Nations (AFCON) opener tonight.

Zimbabwe open their 2019 AFCON campaign against the hosts Egypt at the Cairo International stadium at 10pm tonight.

SABC Sport senior journalist Velile Mnyandu is covering the 24-team AFCON in Egypt and has filed this report.

Billiat had been sidelined by a knee injury since last week and missed the Warrior’s last preparatory match against Tanzania last weekend.

There were concerns that he might not make it but he’s since recovered and will line-up alongside birthday boy and captain Knowledge Musona and Chinese based striker Nyasha Mushekwi upfront.

Coach Sunday Chidzambwa has announced a strong team that includes six South African based players including goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda of Witbank Spurs, who comes in the place of suspended George Chigovha of Polokwane City.

Golden Arrows’ Divine Lunga and Kaizer Chiefs lanky centre-back Teenage Hadebe line-up in the defense.

French bound Buccaneer Marshall Munetsi is in the heart of the midfield with Marvelous Nakamba.

As Musona had said during the week, they are not bothered by the presence of the Liverpool star Mo Salah in the hosts’ team. The Pharaohs are coming back to this venue for the first time in two years and the stands started filling as early as 1pm on Friday.

It promises to be a humdinger of an AFCON opener. – Report by Velile Mnyandu, SABC Sport, Cairo International stadium, Egypt.