Rwanda international and Rayon Sports centre-back Abdoul Rwatubyaye has started training with his club teammates after a 13-month injury lay-off.
Rwatubyaye, 22, started light training with Rayon Sports earlier this week and is optimistic he will be ready for a return to competitive action in less than three weeks.
The former APR star damaged his knee ligaments on March 22 last year during a league match against Bugesera at Nyamata ground, which Rayon Sports won 1-0. Ever since, he has been on the sidelines and closely being followed by doctors.
Rwatubyaye underwent surgery on his right knee at King Faisal Hospital, Kigali last November and was initially expected to start training last month but doctors advised him to hold on a bit longer.
Speaking to Times Sport in an exclusive interview on Monday, Rwatubyaye expressed his excitement to be back. “It is emotional to be back, I can’t wait for my first competitive game. I am doing great so far in training and I look forward to contributing to my team’s hunt for titles very soon.”
He added: “While the rest of the team is training once a day, I am having two training drills a day so I can recover my fitness as soon as possible. Fans and football lovers in general should expect me to be back playing between two to three weeks.”
The star center-back joined the blues in July 2016, crossing from arch-rivals APR in a controversial move on a two-year contract before going AWOL for five months in Europe. He returned in early 2017 and played a handful of matches before the injury blow struck.
The former APR defender is one of the few players who have grown from one national team level to another – from U17, U20 to U23 and finally to the senior team.
He earned his first call-up in the senior Amavubi side in September 2015 under former head coach Johnny McKinstry before playing a pivotal role in leading Rwanda to the quarter-finals of the 4th African Nations Championship (CHAN) staged in Rwanda in 2016.
Rwatubyaye has 16 international caps and has scored once for the senior national team.