Bafana Bafana Injury Update

The Bafana Bafana medical team has confirmed that there is nothing wrong with defender Thabo Matlaba who was stretchered off in the 1-0 victory over neighbours Zambia on Sunday, 4 January at Orlando Stadium.  Matlaba was replaced by fellow defender Thulani Hlatshwayo four minutes before the final whistle complaining of cramps.  “I can safely say that after examining Matlaba, we found there was no injury at all but just that his fitness levels were very low, and in fact he was cramping.  He has been out of the game for a long time because he was nursing an injury which kept him on the sidelines at his club.  He just needs more training to be on par with the other players and be ready for competition, but we are glad he is not injured as initially feared,” said Bafana Bafana Team Medico, Dr Thulani Ngwenya.

Two other players were not considered for the match against Chipolopolo as they are nursing knee injuries.  Both Andile Jali and Patrick Phungwayo were not part of the match-day squad to give them more time to recover.  Jali reported for national team duty on Sunday, 28 January with a knee injury, while Phungwayo sustained his injury on the last day of the Bafana Bafana training camp held at the end of last year (26-30 December 2014).

“We are happy with Jali’s progress and we can see a lot of improvement compared to when he arrived.  Let me say he is 95 percent close to recovery and could play in the upcoming international friendly match against Cameroon in Gabon, albeit only one half so we don’t strain the knee – but that will be the technical team’s decision whether they want to use him or not.  The only concern we have at the moment is that of Phungwayo. His recovery is slow and we will rest and treat him to expedite his healing.  While he may miss the Cameroon and Gabon clashes as a precaution, we are almost certain he will be ready for the first match of the tournament against Algeria on the 23rd of this month,” said Dr Ngwenya.  South Africa have been drawn against Algeria, Senegal and Ghana in the AFCON tournament.  Meanwhile, England-based Dean Furman is expected to arrive this morning (Monday, 5 January) just after 11:00.

He will, however, miss the day’s training session in the morning as he has to go for medical assessment in Pretoria.  Furman will train with the team on Tuesday, 6 January.