Johannesburg - Zambia coach Honour Janza has decided against dropping injured striker Patrick Ngoma.
The Red Arrows and Zambia Under-20 striker has struggled with a bruised bone throughout the Chipolopolo pre-2015 Africa Cup training over the last three weeks in Johannesburg.
Zambia's medical team has given Ngoma the all clear prior to the team's departure for Equatorial Guinea on Thursday.
“The status quo remains the same...the player is still on intensive therapy but he has improved tremendously,” Zambia team physician Doctor Joseph Kabungo said.
There was speculation that Janza was going to drop Ngoma due to the persistent injury that saw the striker sidelined for the 4 January friendly against Bafana Bafana that Zambia lost 1-0 in Johannesburg.
Scored seven goals
The 18-year-old striker is one of two Zambia Under-20 players in the team together with Choma Eagles midfielder Spencer Sautu who will also be making his Africa Cup debut.
Janza selected Ngoma after his exploits at the 2014 Cosafa Youth Championship held in Zimbabwe where he inspired the Zambia under-20 to victory in the finals over the hosts.
Ngoma also walked away with the golden boot after scoring seven goals.
Meanwhile, Zambia kick-off their Africa Cup campaign on 18 January when they face DR Congo in their opening Group B match.
Cape Verde and 2004 champions Tunisia are the other teams in Group B who will be based in Ebebiyin.