South Africa played to a goalless and 1-1 draw against Lesotho on Thursday, and Saturday, respectively.
In the process, Marc van Heerden (achilles tendon), Puleng Tlolane (thigh muscle), Gift Motupa and Cole Alexander (both ankles) all picked up injuries which are worrying the technical staff.
Tlolane and Alexander were stretchered off in the second match and were replaced by Moeketsi Sekola and Siyabonga Nhlapho respectively.
“Tlolane clashed with the opposition goalkeeper during the match and had a knock on the knee. We suspect a mild contrution or bruise which indicates it’s not a bad injury. He has slight pain so he is now on medication, but there are no major worries there and we believe he should be up and running in the next 48 to 72 hours,” said team medico Dr Tshepo Molobi.
“With regards to Cole Alexander, he twisted his ankle outwardly and has pain around that area after a tackle. He had some swelling when he was treated on the field, but as a precautionary measure we would like to do an MRI scan just to be sure it’s nothing serious.”
Van Heerden did not play in any of the two matches, while Motupa earned his first Bafana Bafana cap in the first clash but got injured at training a day before the second encounter.
“We will take the final decision on the two when we arrive back home. We will check them again and see how serious the injuries are. Hopefully by the end of this afternoon we should have a clearer picture of what we are dealing with,” added Dr Molobi.
Coach Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba said he was worried about the four but said he was hoping for the best.
“We have to be careful on how we deal with each case because the registration or deregistration of players for the tournament closes on Wednesday (20 May). When we get back home we must reassess them thoroughly. I believe that by Monday afternoon we will know where we stand. We can’t wait too long, we have to make decisions and if we are bringing in any new players we have to act quickly,” said Mashaba.
The squad is expected back in South Africa on Sunday.