There have been concerns raised about the readiness of six stars ahead of the MTN8 final between Cape Town City and Mamelodi Sundowns.
City come from a 4-3 win in their league match against Golden Arrows on Saturday, and while coach Eric Tinkler will want to build on the club's scoring form and performance in planning for the clash against Brazilians, the mentor is worried about the fitness of key players.
Defender and club captain Thamsanqa Mkhize and midfielder Mduduzi Mdantsane, who were some of the goalscorers against Abafana Bes’thende, will have to undergo a late fitness test later this week to confirm their availability after picking up injuries in that match.
As confirmed by the coach, Zimbabwean forward Douglas Mapfumo and young defender Patrick Fischer are some of the players who are also doubtful, along with goalkeeper Darren Keet whose start to the season has been delayed due to a long-term injury.
Another player who is set to be re-assessed, as confirmed by the former Orlando Pirates coach, is Bafana Bafana left-back Terrence Mashego after missing the Arrows match.
“We don’t know as yet (about the extent of Mkhize’s injury), today (Monday) was our first training session. He came and we did our recovery session with him, and we will re-assess him again tomorrow,” said Tinkler, speaking to journalists.
“There’s obviously, like we said, (a) worry about Thami (and) Douglas (Mapfumo). We’re trying to see if Douglas will be available. He’s been out now for the last three weeks. He started a bit of running today and a bit of kicking, we will see if he is available. Patrick Fischer also has been out with an injury, but he should be back,” said the coach.
“Terrence Mashego also, we rested him because of the number of games he has been playing and he was carrying a bit of an injury. So, we will again assess his availability tomorrow. (Mduduzi) Mdantsane got a bit of a knock in the game (against Arrows) as well, so we will also re-assess him again tomorrow. Darren Keet is still long-term, unfortunately for him. So, right now, only one who is not really training fully with the team is Douglas and Darren Keet and all the others are just carrying little niggles that we will assess and make a final decision by Thursday about their availability or not,” he concluded.
View some stars who have played for Sundowns and Pirates: