Bafana Bafana defender Thulani Hlatshwayo has been ruled out of the crucial final Group C clash against Ghana in the CAF Orange Africa Cup of Nations Equatorial Guinea 2015 tournament. South Africa and the Black Stars go into battle on Tuesday at the Stade de Mongomo. Kick-off is at 20:00 South African time.
Hlatshwayo was substituted early in the first half of the second group stages match against Senegal after a clash of heads. His place was taken by Ayanda Gcaba. “Hlatshwayo suffered concussion following that incident, which means his brain was shaken violently when he tried to head the ball but ended up with a clash of heads with an opponent so he is out of the game on Tuesday. But we are hopeful he will be back for the next match should we go through the next round. At the moment he is still under the watchful eye of the medical department,” said Dr Thulani Ngwenya, Bafana Bafana medico.
Meanwhile, Rivaldo Coetzee has improved tremendously since he was stretchered off in the opening match of the tournament against Algeria. He missed the Senegal clash. “We are going to do a late individual fitness test on him to see if he can train with the rest of the squad later today (Sunday). However we are confident that he could be available for selection for the game against Ghana but that will also be dependent on whether the coaching staff uses him or not. He has completed his rehabilitation and we are happy with the results. He is pain free at the moment so the key is to see whether he can fully resume training,” added Dr Ngwenya.
Coetzee played only 29 minutes in the opening match of the African football showpiece. His place was taken by Siyabonga Nhlapho. Bafana Bafana have two training sessions left before their match with Ghana – one on Sunday afternoon and the last one on Monday evening.