Injury puts Ndlovu off

2016-03-24 06:00

Cyprus-based South African born striker Dino Ndlovu has been withdrawn from the Bafana Bafana squad to face Cameroon in back-to-back 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers due to injury.

Ndlovu injured his left knee in his club match for Anorthosis Famagusta over the weekend and was assessed by the Bafana team doctor Thulani Ngwenya today when he arrived for camp. He was subsequently ruled out of the upcoming clashes.

“It is always a blow when we lose a player that we have called up into the national team, but having said that we have to forge ahead,” says head coach Shakes Mashaba.

“We would have loved to have him with us, but it is just unfortunate, injuries are part of the game. We can only wish him a speedy recovery.

“We are still working on the replacement as we definitely need someone in that position because goals are of paramount importance in the two matches.”

Other injury concerns in the squad are Belgium-based midfielder Andile Jali, who has dislocated his shoulder; France-based defender Anele Ngcongca is nursing an abdominal muscle strain, while Orlando Pirates defender Thabo Matlaba has injured his toe.

“Fortunately the injuries to the trio are manageable so we will be able to deal with them during our camp. I am confident by the time we play our match they will be ready,” adds Ngwenya.

Other than Ndlovu, all the players were expected in camp by tonight (Monday, 21 March) except for the Mamelodi Sundowns players – Hlompho Kekana, Asavela Mbekile and Themba Zwane – who were out of the country on CAF duty. They are expected to report for national team duty only on Tuesday (22 March).

“Late-coming has always been in the national team long before my time and this is due to the fact that we have players at different clubs, from different countries with different programmes,” adds Mashaba.

“Yes it does affect the training programme of the national team but we have to do the best we can. All we can hope for is that they don’t arrive injured.”

The South Africans will have their first training session on Monday at the UJ Stadium, Soweto Campus.

Meanwhile, Bafana will now fly out to Doula, Cameroon on Thursday, 24 March instead of a day before as initially planned. Bafana and the Indomitable Lions face off on Saturday, 26 March at Stade Omnisport de Limbe in Cameroon. Kick-off for that clash is at 15h30 local time (16h30 South African time). The return leg will be played at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Tuesday, 29 March. Kick-off is at 19h00.

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