Kaizer Chiefs will have to do without two key players for the opening salvoes of the new season after key defender Mulomowandau Mathoho and skipper Siphiwe Tshabalala were ruled out by injury.
Mathoho returned from the Olympic Games with a torn ankle ligament and could be out for at least three months in a major blow to Steve Komphela’s hopes of getting the new campaign off to a positive start.
Tshabalala is also still on the way back after knee surgery‚ which he underwent just two months ago‚ and he will miss out at least the first two games of the new campaign for Chiefs – away against Bidvest Wits next Tuesday and then away again when they face Cape Town City in the quarter-final of the MTN8 four days later.
The double blow‚ confirmed by the club on Tuesday‚ comes as Chiefs are looking to put themselves back among the title contenders after disappointing last season‚ in which they finished fifth and won only one of their last 12 games.
Chiefs will now be ruing the decision to allow ‘Tower’ Mathoho to go the Olympic Games as one of the two overage players in Owen da Gama’s squad.
He suffered the injury in the second group game against Denmark in Brasilia and missed the last match for the under-23 side against Iraq in Sao Paulo.
Tshabalala had been battling with his knee‚ even though he missed only two games all of last season for Chiefs‚ and underwent surgery in June.
Chiefs also confirmed that striker Camaldine Abraw will miss the season after surgery for a serious knee injury he suffered while training with the Togo national team.
New signing Keagan Buchanan‚ who last played a match in November‚ is expected back at around the same time as Tshabalala.
Buchanan suffered a serious injury in action for Bloemfontein Celtic‚ who subsequently sold the player to Chiefs.
– TMG Digital/TMG Sport