Chiefs could be without Tshabalala

By Drum Digital
12 September 2012

Kaizer Chiefs may have to rotate the squad and leave out star winger Siphiwe Tshabalala for this weekend's Premiership clash with Black Leopards, coach Stuart Baxter said on Wednesday.

Tshabalala was part of the Bafana Bafana travelling squad to Brazil for an international friendly last week, and also turned out in Tuesday night's friendly against Mozambique in Nelspruit.

Bafana ran out 2-0 winners against their Southern African neighbours, but Tshabalala appeared to have picked up a mild injury.

While Baxter said the niggle was a concern, the severity of the injury had not yet been confirmed.

"I saw that Shabba (Tshabalala) went off with a knock, but how serious that is we don't know," said the former national coach.

"We've only had initial feedback from the national team saying that he did get a knock.

"It does't seem serious but we are going to monitor that this morning.

"Shabba has played two games for his country. He's travelled halfway around the world and he ended up getting a kick.

"I'll be looking at the national players when they come back and it's possible we have to rotate and give one or two of them a bit of a rest."

Baxter added that he and the Chiefs medical staff would need to assess the returning players ahead of the Leopards tie, but he was confident the rest of the squad would be raring to go.

"It's going to be a challenge getting our national team players back and recuperating them properly," he said.

"Maybe we have to rotate a little bit because maybe a couple of them are too tired to give us 100 percent.

"I'm hoping that we can get through it but we'll need to see."

Meanwhile, the Chiefs boss was delighted to see his striker, Bernard Parker, bag both goals for Bafana at Mbombela Stadium.

"Bernard is just playing well at the moment," Baxter said.

"He's full of confidence, he's sharp again and he's not hesitant in his movement.

"He's creating spaces for himself and he's giving midfield players lots of opportunities to find him.

"He plays with other people, he gives them opportunities to play behind and he makes good decisions with the ball.

"I think Bernard thinks it's enjoyable to play football again."

Amakhosi led the Premiership standings with seven points from their first three games, heading into the weekend fixtures, including a 6-0 thrashing of Amazulu in their first match of the new campaign, leaving Baxter confident ahead of Saturday's game.

"It's a decent start to the season. I think anybody would be happy with two wins and a draw.

"But happy is not satisfied, so we still need to keep on concentrating very hard and working very hard.

"Black Leopards have also had a decent start to the season so they will be a difficult opponent.

"Our attitude going into the game has to be that we have to be fully switched on because Leopards are a good opponent."

- SAPA

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