Iqraam Rayners injury poser for Stellenbosch
Relegation-threatened Stellenbosch FC have been dealt a major blow with a long-term injury to top striker Iqraam Rayners‚ who is out for up to two months.
Rayners was hurt in training late last week and is on crutches as he recovers from a broken bone in his foot.
The 24-year-old scored 19 goals last season as the club won the National First Division and has found the back of the net three times in the topflight this campaign.
“He is one of our influential players but is out for six to eight weeks. We might now have to look for someone to bring in as a back-up upfront‚” said coach Steve Barker.
Stellenbosch‚ who host Bloemfontein Celtic at the Cape Town Stadium on Tuesday night‚ dropped back in the relegation zone after the weekend when they lost 2-0 at home to Bidvest Wits.
But Barker did not look overtly distressed by the setback.
“I can take a lot of encouragement from the performance and from the attitude of the players.
"At the end of the day‚ I thought we fought hard enough and could at least have got a point from the game‚” Barker added.
“We just have to be positive‚ learn from one or two situations but there is not much difference between us and the other clubs - maybe a little bit of physicality‚ experience.
“After losing‚ you want to get back on the horse again as quickly as possible so we are happy to be playing Celtic so soon again after our last game.
“The quicker you get up and play‚ stand up and get three points‚ the better
“Celtic have to travel here so we are looking forward to that.”