By Legheri Onyamom
Dolphins leading scorer Ifeanyi Egwim [pictured] has been ruled out of Saturday's Port Harcourt derby against Sharks.
The former Enugu Rangers forward copped an ankle injury in training within the week and will not recover in time for the match.
Egwim had scored in Dolphins' first two games of the season against Heartland and Crown FC, and was very lively against Sunshine Stars, winning a penalty that was eventually missed by Isiaka Olawale.
His absence would be a huge blow for Dolphins, though he believes there are capable replacements for him.
"I injured my ankle in training and have been ruled out of Saturday's game by our medical team," Egwim told supersport.com.
"I was really looking forward to the game, but unfortunately I won't be able to make it.
"I am confident the other strikers in the team would equally do a good job in my absence."
Egwim said he is expecting a close game as both teams had made a good start to the season.
He reckons playing against Sunshine Stars at the Sharks Stadium as part of the Port Harcourt doubleheader has helped his side prepare well for the match.
"Sharks have started well, just like us and I'm expecting a tight match.
"This is a match that could go either way.
"I feel playing our last game against Sunshine Stars at the Sharks Stadium has helped. We struggled initially because of the size of the pitch.
"We're used to a playing with a lot of space. However, we should be okay this time with the match coming just a week after playing there.
"Playing there for the second time would be better, and I expect a good game," he told supersport.com.
The corresponding tie ended in a scoreless draw last season.