There could be a big concern for Orlando Pirates as the team is set to welcome back five players in finalising preparations for their next fixture in the CAF Confederation Cup.
The Buccaneers are scheduled to be away to Diables Noirs in Brazzaville on Friday in the first leg of their first-round continental fixture. With coaches Mandla Ncikazi and Fadlu Davids finalising preparations for the trip, the team is set to welcome Vincent Pule and Tshegofatso Mabasa who were on national duty with Bafana Bafana, as well as Gabadinho Mhango, Deon Hotto and Terrence Dzvukamanja from Malawi, Namibia and Zimbabwe respectively.
However, Pule was a notable absentee from the matchday squad as Bafana beat Ethiopia 1-0 at FNB Stadium on Tuesday evening in their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying match, while Mabasa was an unused substitute.
Pule was replaced after picking up an injury during the warm-up ahead of the first leg clash last weekend.
It is not yet clear if the 29-year-old winger will recover on time for the trip to Brazzaville, or whether the technical team will give him enough time to get ready for the DStv Premiership’s resumption, as Bucs will visit Maritzburg United next Wednesday.
Elsewhere, Mhango started and was substituted in the 31st minute as Malawi lost 2-1 to Côte d’Ivoire on Monday. The 29-year-old played the entire match in the first round fixture on Friday as they lost 3-0.
For Namibia, Hotto was substituted in the 86th minute as the Brave Warriors lost 3-1 at on Tuesday. The 30-year-old played the entire match in the first leg, losing 4-1 in Thies on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Dzvukamanja started for his national team and was substituted in the 63rd minute as Zimbabwe lost 1-0 to Ghana in their Group G match on Tuesday. The 27-year-old came on in the last four minutes in the first leg away match as they lost 3-1 on Saturday.
View Orlando Pirates’ 37-man squad for the 2021/22 season: