Jele cleared to play after breathing scare

2014-07-30 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — Despite being stretchered off the field due to his breathing problems last weekend, Orlando Pirates right-back Happy Jele has been cleared to play and will feature for the Buccaneers against SuperSport United this coming weekend.

Pirates will lock horns against the Pretoria-based outfit in their MTN8 quarter-final at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday night.

The hard tackling defender collapsed after being elbowed in the chest by George Maluleka of Kaizer Chiefs in their Carling Black Label clash at the FNB Stadium.

The 27-year-old player said he wanted to continue playing after the incident, but could not go on as he felt lethargic.

Jele also hinted that he was really scared after the incident occurred, thinking he was knocking on death’s door.

“It happened in just a second,” said Jele.

“I was fighting for the ball with George Maluleka, then he hit me in the chest with his elbow and I fell down. It happened so fast. I couldn’t breathe afterwards.

“… I ran out of oxygen and I was really scared because it was the first time it happened to me and I thought I was going to die.

“Fortunately, I did not go to the hospital after that. I was chilling in the dressing room and after the game I couldn’t celebrate with my team-mates because I kept asking myself what happened. But I am cleared to play now and I’m feeling okay. I am back training with the team.”

Pirates defeated their arch-rivals on the day, winning 6-5 on penalties after a goalless stalemate.

Although it was a pre-season game, Jele believes it was a confidence booster ahead of the new season.

“Magents” said his team’s ambitions for next season are to clinch the MTN8 Cup and also defend their Nedbank Cup won towards the end of last season.

“I think winning the Carling Black Label brought more morale to the team ahead of next season.”

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