Sundowns’ injuries give Pitso headache ahead of clash against Chiefs
Khama Billiat and Anthony Laffor could not finish Mamelodi Sundowns’ training session on Tuesday‚ adding to coach Pitso Mosimane’s injury concerns ahead of Saturday’s Premier Soccer League clash against Kaizer Chiefs.
Both Downs’ key forwards limped to the change rooms afterwards. They will need time on the treatment table for tight muscles to be ready for Downs’ fourth league match of the season at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday (3.30pm).
Sundowns already have Tebogo Langerman out injured having been withdrawn with a hamstring injury from the Bafana Bafana squad that beat Senegal 2-1 in a World Cup qualifier in Polokwane then drew 1-1 against Mozambique in a friendly in Maputo on Tuesday.
Billiat and Laffor returned from international duty with Zimbabwe and Liberia with niggling injuries.
“I guess any team in the world with international players have the same story‚” Mosimane lamented.
“And it’s a good challenge. I’d rather have that than we don’t have international players who don’t develop and understand the international programme.
“Because at Sundowns we are running an international programme. These players have been in that stadium in Congo or Egypt – it’s not problem.
“But you saw Anthony in training‚ saying he’s tired. Khama didn’t finish the session. He played 30 minutes and was out with a groin.
“Tiyani Mabunda played 90 minutes twice for Bafana this week. I was disappointed to see Mabunda play two full games. I mean they’ve got 25 players there‚ and we [SA] were playing Mozambique by the way guys.
“Mabunda played two games so now I’m asking myself do I want to play him then he gets a hamstring‚ and then I’m risking him for the Club World Cup.
“But I also understand [suspended Bafana coach] Shakes [Mashaba] has his team. Owen da Gama [SA’s stand-in coach] has his team. And they want to play them. So it’s the price you play.
“Everyone is not coordinating‚ so the players are overloaded.”
Mosimane had warned that as the only fit left-back in Downs’ squad through their punishing schedule through the Champions League semifinals and final‚ MTN8 semis and final‚ and the league‚ Langerman was on the verge of a breakdown.
Downs’ coach said the team’s other left-back option‚ Mzikayise Mashaba‚ who made a return from injury with two substitutes’ appearances before the Fifa break‚ has had a recurrence of his groin injury.