Kaizer Chiefs injury crisis deepens with another huge blow
Kaizer Chiefs’ injury crisis has reached a new low with confirmation that Kgotso Moleko is likely out for the rest of the year‚ leaving the club with no recognised right-back.
Key striker Gustavo Paez is also sidelined for the next three weeks‚ meaning he misses out in Amakhosi’s big matches against Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates as Chiefs face a harrowing week ahead.
Both are the latest in a long line of injury setbacks for the jinxed club‚ who are struggling with form and have been beset by injuries almost since the start of the season.
Moleko was hurt in the Macufe Cup friendly match against Bloemfontein Celtic last weekend‚ suffering an ankle ligament tear‚ and is now in a brace.
Chiefs confirmed he will be out for up to six to eight weeks‚ effectively ending his participation this year.
With Bafana Bafana right back Ramahlwe Mphahlele not set to play again until after the mid-season holiday break‚ coach Steve Komphela must now to put his creative thinking cap on to settle on a defence before Tuesday’s match at Loftus Versfeld.
The only recognised right-side player left in defence is the under-20 international Siyabonga Ngezana. The 19-year-old was promoted to the first team this season‚ but is still to make his debut and perhaps too inexperienced to go up against the likes of Khama Billiat‚ Percy tau and Thamsanqa Gabuza over the next week.
Chiefs also have Lorenzo Gordinho still out as he recovers from a broken rib – sustained in training in a blow with one of his own teammates – and new centre-back Teenage Hadebe is still to play.
The Zimbabwe international hurt himself just weeks after moving to Chiefs and is still to start light running as he recovers from an ankle injury.
Mphahlele returned from Bafana duty last month with a knee injury and had to undergo surgery after the double defeat against the Cape Verde Islands.
Chiefs have fullback Sibusiso Khumalo back after a knee ligament injury but he is very left-sided so not much use to Komphela as he looks for a solution on the right.
Philani Zulu is the first choice now on the left-hand side of defence since Tsepo Masilela underwent surgery to remedy an ankle ligament injury.
Paez suffered his ankle injury against Baroka in Chiefs’ last league game‚ which they lost in Durban to leave them in sixth place in the Premier Soccer League standings with nine points from seven matches.