It actually looks pretty good now, I’m in good physical shape, but I have a little pain in my Achilles tendon that I can’t get rid of, says Sawo.

In the frenzy of having scored from a free-kick, Zakaria Sawo took off his shirt during the goal celebration and received his second yellow card of the match. Therefore, he has to serve his quarantine away against Kongsvinger at the weekend, and thus there is only the match against Mjøndalen left before there will be just under a month of summer break in the first division.

– I will now have two weeks off where I will focus on getting rid of the pain in the Achilles tendon, says Sawo.

In the run-up to the season, both Aase and the coaching staff predicted that Sawo had the potential to score 15–20 league goals, with the proviso that he remained injury-free.

Since then, Sawo has struggled with injuries and only played 191 minutes in the 1st division.

– He has not stayed healthy and therefore 15-20 goals is unrealistic, but if he stays healthy, I think he will score ten goals from now on, says Aase.

To that, Sawo replies that he will manage to score at least ten goals this season with the two goals he has already scored this season.

Aase believes that it is important for Start that Sawo stays injury-free for the rest of the season.

– In my world, he is perhaps the key if Start is to move up, and then he must be able to stay healthy, says Aase.

Start coach Sindre Tjelmeland is also clear that Sawo, together with an injury-free squad, is important in the future.

– We depend on having the strongest possible squad to compete, so that “Zak” stays injury-free is important to us, says Tjelmeland.

For Sawo, this year’s season has been frustrating, after he scored three goals during the run-up, little has gone smoothly since then.

– It has been troublesome, but also instructive. I guess I’ve more or less been out since the training camp in Marbella, says Sawo.

After the team returned home from Marbella in February, there have been many setbacks and heavy messages for Sawo. He was initially told that he would be on the sidelines for six weeks.

– When six weeks had passed, nothing had happened. After that I took a cortisone shot and was told two more weeks, but nothing happened then either. Then another two weeks went by and we are now at two and a half months of nothing happening. It has been like this for almost five months, says Sawo about the frustrating injury period.

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