INJURIES in camp continue to be Pitso Mosimane’s biggest headache.
But the Mamelodi Sundowns coach has a plan on how to deal with all eight players currently out injured as they gear up for a hectic Absa Premiership season without any interruptions after being knocked out of the Caf Champions League in the quarterfinals.
Mosimane says he will use the next 14 days of the Fifa international break to get all his injured players back to full fitness.
“We have a lot of injuries,” Mosimane said with a sour voice. Among the players giving Mosimane sleepless nights is George Lebese (bronchitis) who missed Downs’ 1-0 win against Platinum Stars at the weekend.
There is also their new member Oupa Manyisa (groin), veteran striker Anthony Laffor (foot), bullying defender Sumouhoro Bagaly (groin), Thela Ngobeni (groin), Yannick Zakri (ankle), and Tiyane Mabunda and Rivaldo Coetzee (foot).
“We missed about seven players against Platinum Stars,” Mosimane added.
“These are just niggling injuries that I hope will be dealt with soon.”
But there is more on Mosimane’s worry list – about internationals who will be representing their respective countries during the 2018 Russia Fifa World Cup qualifiers.
“They are obliged to represent their respective countries – and this might come with more injuries too,” he quipped.
“But who knows, they might all come back clear. We have six internationals for Bafana Bafana, but that’s not an excuse to not win matches after the break. Injuries are part and parcel of having a big team.”
While you thought you’ve heard enough of the Downs coach moaning, there is also the seven matches they’ll play after the league break.
He added: “After the international programme we have about seven matches in three weeks and we are going to need the numbers, hence we are trying to get everybody fit.”
In those trying three weeks they will host Kaizer Chiefs and AmaZulu at Loftus Stadium in Tshwane on 10 October and 28 October respectively before they visit Orlando Pirates at Orlando Stadium on 1 November.
The above will be followed by Bidvest Wits (21 November), Chippa United (25 November) and Baroka FC on 5 December.
When asked about his league predictions, Mosimane was non-committal: “It is still early to say that we will win this and that. We have only played four games. But the good thing is that we are winning away games, which is a 100% achievement so far (against Platinum Stars, Free State Stars and SuperSport United).
“We are focused on the league and there’s no excuse not to compete for the championship. We’re out of Caf and have a chance to focus on the league.”