Khune blow for Bafana

2014-01-17 19:07

Bafana Bafana have suffered a major blow: captain Itumeleng Khune could be out of Sunday’s crucial African Nations Championship (CHAN) match against Nigeria.

The Bafana number one got a knock in the game against Mali on Wednesday and scans have revealed a Grade 1 ligament problem. He didn’t train with the team today.

Coach Gordon Igesund said their medical team estimates it would take three to four days for the goalkeeper to recover fully.

“The medical team advised that he should not train today as it would be a big risk. It is not very bad but it could be risky because if he gets hurt in the game it could be much worse and he could be out for six or eight weeks,” said Igesund.

With Bafana taking on Nigeria on Sunday, he said it could be risky for Khune to play. He said he would take the final decision tomorrow morning after a final assessment of the player.

“It would be a blow to Itu and the team if he does not make it. We have to wait and see what the repercussions are going to be as we are hoping to be in the quarterfinals and there is also the final to go through. There are some serious decisions to be made,” said Igesund.

“It is worrying although I have two other capable goalkeepers. But I don’t want to pre-empt anything at the moment about who is going to replace him or who is going to be the captain. A day before the match we have to make the decision, we can’t be on the fence and we have to make a decision in the best interest of the player and the team.

“I know the player will want to play but first and foremost he has a career and we must give him every chance possible to see if he makes it,” said Igesund. “Sometimes I have to make the right decision on the player’s behalf as I don’t want to damage his career as his health is important.”

If Khune does not make it, Igesund is likely to turn to Moeneeb Josephs in goals. Platinum Stars’ Siyabonga Mpontshane is another goalkeeper in the camp.

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