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Bafana Doc: Playing Khune Was Brave

Bafana Bafana’s team medic, Dr. Thulani Ngwenya, says that deciding whether Itumeleng Khune played against Senegal was one of the most difficult decisions in his career.
 
 
Ultimately the inclusion of the Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper didn’t make too much of a difference as Bafana’s hopes of playing at Russia 2018 were dashed on Friday, with the Lions of Teranga beating Khune twice to secure their spot at the World Cup.
 
The defeat means that South Africa go into their final qualifier on Tuesday night with nothing to play for, but Ngwenya is glad that Khune didn’t aggravate his facial fracture while playing in Polokwane.
 
He told SAFA.net, “It was one of the most difficult cases that I have come across in my career. But in the end, we did our best as a team and it paid off… I would have been damned had Itu aggravated his injury and would have been damned had I decided not to play him. In end, it was a brave and correct call that we made a last minute decision to field him and it all went well.
 
“I would like to also give credit to the team physiotherapist and masseur for their professionalism and diligent work in making sure the player was fit to play. Once we got scans from his club, our main focus for the rest of the week was to make him ready for the game. We slowly integrated him into the team and the player responded positively.
 
“We however, had to make the final call on his inclusion into the team at the very last minute because every decision was very critical.”
 
It remains to be seen whether Khune will feature on Tuesday evening in Dakar, however Stuart Baxter is expected to make changes for the clash.

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