Absa Premiership

Middendorp rules Khune out of AFCON tournament

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

Cape Town - Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp says there is no chance whatsoever that goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune will be fit to play for Bafana Bafana at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Khune has been out of action for the majority of the season with a shoulder injury he picked up in a training ground collision with Willard Katsande.

His injury required surgery and he has since started rehabilitation on the condition. However, Middendorp is adamant that the star keeper will not be ready in time for the AFCON in Egypt.

Bafana will take part in the tournament and are in a tough Group D along with Morocco, Namibia and the Ivory Coast. As such, it was hoped that Khune may make an early return to international duty.

The German told reporters: "Ja, let's be honest, today is nearly the end of April, and until now he has not even trained with any ball involved at all.

So I think, actually, it should not really be that every three weeks I have to answer this question.

"But there is no chance, 100%, if somebody dreams about having Itu Khune at AFCON, when he is not even at training.

"Sorry, it is totally not serious, it is dishonest.

"And secondly, he should really make it happen to be very concentrated and clear-structured to prepare himself to have a good start of the [2019-20] season.

"We have Bruce Bvuma and we have Daniel Akpeyi who are getting more and more settled in, they are definitely goalkeepers who have a high quality competitive level.

"That's my opinion. But if the national team coach (Stuart Baxter) has an idea to call in Itu Khune for AFCON, that's his decision.

"Our medical department definitely has other ideas."

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