Bucs: hoping for nuggety Jali’s return

2012-04-07 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — Orlando Pirates are hoping Andile Jali came through a first fitness test this week and possibly more at the weekend in order to line up for the team in their next Premiership clash.

The nuggety midfielder has had an ankle injury and missed Wednesday’s win over in Durban but is needed for the Easter Monday meeting with bottom placed Jomo Cosmos.

His replacement over the last three games, Thandani Ntshumayelo, picked up a third caution of the season on Wednesday and now has an automatic one-match ban, meaning Jali will be sought to replace him and reunite with his central midfield partner Oupa Manyisa when Pirates host Cosmos.

Jali had originally been hurt in the derby clash against Kaizer Chiefs but played just three days later against Mamelodi Sundowns at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria where he aggravated the problem and was sent off.

His injury then had a chance to heal while he sat out two matches against Free State Stars but had not sufficiently recovered in time for Jali to be fielded against AmaZulu, said coach Augusto Palacios.

Pirates went for regeneration exercises on Thursday afternoon immediately on their return to Johannesburg from their Durban trip, but they did not train yesterday.

Their win over AmaZulu lifted them joint top of the league standings with Mamelodi Sundowns on 43 points.

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