Orlando Pirates star left-back Paseka Mako says he is happy with how his recovery is going after a horrific injury he suffered during a premiership match against Baroka in Polokwane on April 12.
In a rare interview since the setback that left him with facial scars, the 28-year-old confirmed he has started training.
Mako even joked that he would play the last 20 minutes of Pirates’ CAF Confederation Cup final in Uyo, Nigeria, where the Buccaneers will face off against Morocco’s RS Berkane at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium on Friday.
He was speaking in Thembisa, Ekurhuleni, on Monday during an event dubbed Clean Up, which was organised by Pirates kit sponsor Adidas and their partner Parley for the Oceans as part of next month’s Run for the Oceans initiative.
Mako has been a standout player for Pirates this season, having featured in 33 matches in all competitions before his injury at Peter Mokaba Stadium.
The player from Zebediela in Limpopo was left unconscious on the field after his teammate and goalkeeper Richard Ofori’s knee collided with his head, an incident that threatened to cut his career short.
Mako was then rushed to hospital in an ambulance.
“I didn’t feel anything after the incident. I woke up at the hospital and asked what I was doing there because I was playing a match. It was a very bad injury.”
Mako, who is not expected to play in the Confederation Cup final despite having recently resumed training, was confident that Pirates would do better than in 2015 when they last played in the final of this competition and lost.
“For me, it is simple. We are going to win this final.”
He added that he watched RS Berkane as they overturned a 1-0 away defeat after a 4-1 win on Sunday evening in Morocco to beat TP Mazembe 4-2 on aggregate.
Berkane scored two goals in the last five minutes to stun a ten-man Mazembe, but even that didn’t convince Mako that the Moroccans would come out alive against the Buccaneers.
“I was watching that game between TP Mazembe and Berkane and that’s why I’m so confident.
“It will not be for me if the team wins but for them and the supporters. It’s been long since Pirates won a CAF competition and if we win this one, we’ll then go for the Super Cup.
“We want to play on the biggest stage, which is the Champions League.” He said:
Pirates are set to leave for Nigeria on Tuesday.