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Maela on Pirates teammate Mako’s horror clash: ‘Thank God his life was spared’

27 July 2022 - 09:20
Orlando Pirates left-back Paseka Mako leaves the pitch by ambulance after being injured in the DStv Premiership match against Baroka FC at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on April 12 2022.
Orlando Pirates left-back Paseka Mako leaves the pitch by ambulance after being injured in the DStv Premiership match against Baroka FC at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on April 12 2022.
Image: Philip Maeta/Gallo Images

Innocent Maela is preparing for a tough battle for the left-back position at Orlando Pirates now that Paseka Mako is back to full fitness.

Maela was troubled by injury for the better part of last year but he's happy to have recovered and managed a few games fellow left-back Mako sustained a nasty injury in a league game against Baroka FC in April. Mako was involved in a horror clash, tracking back to a ball upfield, with the knee of own goalkeeper Richard Ofori.

Maela said many in the public may not understand how close Mako came to being injured worse than he was.

“Last season I had groin problem and I had a tear when we played Kaizer Chiefs in the Black Label Cup, so I had to be out for four to five months, including rehab," Bafana Bafana defender Maela said.

"When I came back Mako was doing really well in the position and because everyone is equal I had to wait for my opportunity again. I had to support Mako, just like he’s been supporting me all these years.

"It was my turn to support him from the back until I got my opportunity after the incident . We thank God that his life was spared."

With Bucs set play with a new central pairing in defence after the departure of Happy Jele, Thulani Hlatshwayo and Ntsikelelo Nyauza, Maela said he was satisfied with how new defenders Tapelo Xoki and Nkosinathi Sibisi are adapting to the new environment.

Xoki was signed from AmaZulu on the off-season and Sibisi from Lamontville Golden Arrows.

“The are getting more comfortable, they’re adapting really well and getting to know each other.

"We’re spending a lot of time together so we can know each other’s personalities and our backgrounds. The new guys should never feel any pressure because the guys who’ve been there longer are there to support and give them direction whenever they need it."


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