Injury blow for South Africa ahead of Nations Cup qualifier

Defender Thulani Hlatshwayo has been withdrawn from the Bafana Bafana squad that will face Mauritania in a CAF Orange African Cup of Nations Gabon 2017 qualifier as well as the 2015 Nelson Mandela Challenge clash against Senegal.

South Africa takes on Mauritania on Saturday in Nouakchott, and will lock horns with the Teranga Lions of Senegal three days later (8 September) at Orlando Stadium.

Hlatshwayo is struggling with a right thigh muscle strain and has already undergone an MRI scan which confirmed the injury – his place has been taken by Supersport United defender Clayton Daniels. He has already arrived in camp and attended the squad’s first training session at the University of Johannesburg Grounds in Auckland Park on Monday.

Two players are doubtful starters – Thulani Serero’s club Ajax Amsterdam has written a letter to the South African Football Association (SAFA) to say he is injured. Tsepo Masilela of Kaizer Chiefs has not yet reported for national team duty after his club sent a communiqué informing Bafana Bafana that his left knee has flared up again and will need some rest. Both players have been requested to come to camp for medical assessment. Serero is expected in South Africa this morning.

Should Masilela not make it, he will not be replaced as the head coach believes he has enough cover in the player’s position.

Other than Masilela, the other local-based player that is still to come is Supersport United midfielder Dean Furman after he travelled to England. He is also expected today, together with Denmark-based Mandla Masango, Belgium-based Ayanda Patosi and Germany-based Daylon Claasen.

Overseas-based players who have already reported for national team duty are Anele Ngcongca (France), Andile Jali (Belgium) and Tokelo Rantie (England).