Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rulani Mokwena has provided a detailed update on the club’s forgotten striker, Mauricio Affonso.
The Uruguayan hasn’t played for the club since the end of 2019 when he started a league game against the now defunct Bidvest Wits and was subsequently sidelined by a groin injury that had to be operated on.
Affonso did not play a single domestic game in 2020.
“I think Affonso’s issues come from way back and even before I came back to Sundowns. I wouldn’t say it’s a chronic issue because that, from a medical point of view, would be a bit more severe,” Mokwena told reporters.
“But he’s got a few muscle related issues and we are trying to make sure we resolve the problem because it is one thing to rush his rehabilitation to get him back on the pitch, but it is another to make sure you are thorough in your recovery.”
The Brazilians take on Al Hilal of Sudan in their opening CAF Champions League group stages match and Affonso, though registered in the 40-man squad, remains unavailable.
“We did this with Rivaldo Coetzee and Thapelo Morena (didn’t rush them back) and we have a very good medical department that’s able to assist in making sure that you don’t only rehabilitate from an injury, but you also heal completely. Then the next big thing is the pre-rehab work that needs to be done to prevent reoccurrence of the injuries, so that’s Affonso for you – he is going through a very extensive rehab process,” the coach added.
Mokwena stressed that Downs need a striker of his quality.
“He has started with some light football action and being part of the training and that is the first point of departure in the process. He has the greenlight and hopefully he will be back on the pitch because he is a very good striker,” the coach explained.
“He offers the team a different profile, has a very good left foot that has the ability to find scoring possibilities with very instinctive actions. And he has the physical profile to assist us with low sitting blocks when you play against teams that sit back, like TTM when we played them and needed to break them down.”
Mokwena said there was no need to rush Affonso.
Story by @superjourno
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