It is looking increasingly likely that Itumeleng Khune will not be at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations as he is losing his race to recover from a shoulder injury in time.
Stuart Baxter, the Bafana Bafana coach, had hoped the country’s No.1 shot stopper would be available for selection with just over a month before the national team faces Ivory Coast in their opener on June 24.
But Baxter on Thursday all but ruled Khune out of contention, especially on the back of comments from his Kaizer Chiefs coach, Ernst Middendorp.
“I was at Naturena this week, and spoke to Ernst and the staff there. They said his (Khune) training is going very slowly and it’s not in the realm of possibility that he is going to be anywhere near fit,” said Baxter.
Khune was between the sticks in all but one of Bafana’s AFCON qualifiers and his shoulder injury has kept him out since January.
Recently, the Amakhosi coach told the media that there was “100 percent no chance” of Khune being ready for the tournament.
Bafana will face Ivory Coast, Namibia and Morocco in Group D of the AFCON next month and Baxter is resigned to not having Khune.