Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter revealed that the injury sustained by midfielder Vincent Pule is a lot worse than first feared, calling it an ‘a bad one’.
Pule was forced to withdraw from the Bafana Bafana side which is set to do battle in a double-header African Cup of Nations qualifiers against Seychelles.
The Orlando Pirates midfielder was replaced by club teammate Thembinkosi Lorch and while Baxter admitted to having enough cover in the wide areas, with the likes of Aubrey Modiba, Phakamani Mahlambi and Innocent Maela, he also feels that they might lack a balance with too many right-footed players in attack.
Losing left-footed Pule would have been a blow in that sense but it was further compounded by Keagan Dolly’s withdrawal through a shin fracture last month.
‘We’ve got a lot of good righties,’ Baxter responded when asked about the potential challenge of creating the right balance going forward.
‘But, yeah, Vincent had a role that I was thinking of, and we’ve now got Innocent, Aubrey and Phakamani [that] can play wide on that side too.
‘The other side, coming in off the line we’ve got ‘Vila’ [Sibusiso Vilakazi], Lebo [Maboe] and [Lebo] Phiri. We’ve got, I think, a decent balance. But, yeah, a couple of lefties have gone out so maybe it would have been nice to have another one.’
Baxter further revealed that the extent of Pule’s injury may be of some concern for his club too, after a scan on Monday showed up worse than initially anticipated.
‘Vincent Pule’s got a bad one. The scan showed that he’s got damage on his cruciate ligament, so it isn’t just a kick that maybe people first thought,’ concluded the Bafana coach.