Winger has ‘80% chance' of return

2007-11-13 00:00

Tshabalala, who pulled up injured having scored the winning goal, and put in a man-of-the-match performance in Chiefs' 1-0 win against Supersport United in the Telkom Knockout quarter-finals two weeks ago, is to undergo a late fitness test in Durban today to determine his fitness. Even if the winger comes through unscathed, though, he is likely to start from the bench, rather than risk re-injury.

Chiefs arrived in Durban yesterday evening to take part in yet another big clash in the city for Amakhosi. Chiefs lost 2-1 in a PSL game against Moroka Swallows at King's Park last week and play the Soweto Derby against Orlando Pirates in Durban on November 24. They then have the big Telkom Knockout final, against Downs again, on December 1, which has also been earmarked for Durban.

Tshabalala is one of four key injuries to Chiefs, the others being right wing David Mathebula, defender Jonathan Quartey and forward Tshepo Bulu.

“Siphiwe will undergo a late fitness test, but has an 80% chance of being fit for Sundowns,” Chiefs' team manager, Bobby Motaung, told The Witness yesterday.

“Mathebula has resumed training and should be back in December, and Quartey will be out for longer than three weeks. For Bulu we are looking at next year,” Motaung said.

Chiefs coach Muhsin Ertugral said playing PSL champions Sundowns in the league game and then cup final two-and-a-half weeks apart will be a challenge. Ertugral was the architect of a cup final defeat of Downs in the Absa Cup final in Durban seven months ago as coach of Ajax Cape Town.

“What is important is to worry about the league game - we need to get going again in the league with a win on Wednesday. We won't be holding anything back and will go all out in Durban.”

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