Dikgacoi, Masilela out of Bafana squad through injury

2013-05-28 08:30

Midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi and defender Tsepo Masilela have been withdrawn from the Bafana Bafana squad to play Lesotho in an international friendly and two World Cup Qualifiers against Central African Republic and Ethiopia.

Dikgacoi tore his calf muscle ligaments when his club Crystal Palace returned to the English Premier League with a 1-0 win over Watford in the Championship play-off final yesterday. He was carried off early in the first half.

Masilela was withdrawn for planned knee surgery after his season finale for Kaizer Chiefs in the Nedbank Cup final on Sunday.

Slovakia-based Ricardo Nunes would replace Masilela and join the rest of the squad on Wednesday.

“We have really had some bad luck with defenders lately, missing out due to injury,” said head coach Gordon Igesund.

“This is really a big blow for us in that department.”

Igesund had to make do without Morgan Gould, Siyabonga Sangweni and Thabo Matlaba, while Siyanda Xulu had recently returned from injury.

“They say when one door closes the other opens, so I believe this is a chance for the players in the squad to raise their hands and also help their country through these difficult times.”

Igesund said he was extremely happy for Dikgacoi and Crystal Palace earning promotion, but it was unfortunate he would not be able to play for Bafana.

“Kagisho is a good player and I believe he deserves to be playing at the highest level, which will in turn help Bafana Bafana.

“We are hoping for a speedy recovery for him. I still have to apply my mind as to whether to call in a replacement, but if I do it will be a player based locally. For now I want to sleep over it as I don’t want to make any quick decisions.”

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