Bafana Bafana

Khune requests to play in protective mask

Itumeleng Khune (Gallo Images)
Itumeleng Khune (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune has requested to play in the vital 2018 Soccer World Cup qualifiers against Senegal in a protective mask after suffering an optical fracture.

The Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper sustained a facial injury when he collided with Chippa United's Kurt Lentjies on Sunday during a Telkom Knockout quarter-final clash and had to be rushed to hospital.

Head coach Stuart Baxter confirmed that Khune had requested for a protective mask to be prepared after seeing a facial specialist.

"Itu has seen a specialist and he will see one more (on Tuesday)‚ Baxter told TimesLive after the morning training session at the match venue.

"Itu himself has asked us to prepare a mask‚ which means he’s hopeful.

"But that could be enthusiasm and ambition.

"The final decision will rest with the medical people," Baxter added.

Bafana Bafana team medic, Dr Thulani Ngwenya said he is still hopeful regarding the situation after refusing to rule out the possibility of Khune facing Senegal.

Meanwhile Baxter faces another setback after Thulani Serero ruled himself out of selection for the upcoming qualifiers after demanding a starting berth.

Bafana need to beat Senegal on Friday and then win again in their return fixture next Tuesday in Senegal in order to book their place in Russia next year, while a single point for Senegal should be enough to guarantee their qualification.

Kick-off is at 19:00.

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