Shabba,Tau injuries rattle Chiefs
WHILE new Kaizer Chiefs signings Siboniso Gaxa and Kingston Nkhatha have been given a clean bill of health ahead of the Carling Black Label Cup, that is not the case for two senior Amakhosi players who will not be part of the new season's first Soweto Derby.
Siphiwe Tshabalala has been ruled out of action for two weeks after suffering an ankle injury following a lunging tackle from Moroka Swallows' Gilbert Mapemba in the Gauteng Cup at the weekend. Amakhosi will also start the season without defender Jimmy Tau, who has been out with a fractured ankle since May. Tau will return to training only in September after the Premier Soccer League season has kicked off.
"We are disappointed to have these injuries so early in the build-up to the new season. We thought that by now we would have Jimmy Tau back, but he will only start getting involved in training in September. We are fortunate that Shabba (Tshabalala) is out for only two weeks," said Chiefs spokesman Alpheus Maphosa. Another short-term casualty for Amakhosi is new signing Kgotso Moleko, who made his first appearance in the gold and black in the Gauteng Cup from Bloemfontein Celtic. The defender suffered a groin injury at the weekend, which will also put him out of action for two weeks.
Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter will be relieved that Gaxa and Nkhatha have been given the green light after further injury scares during the Gauteng Cup. Gaxa left the field with an inner thigh strain, while Nkhatha's first outing for the club ended prematurely when he suffered a knock to his knee. The players have been given the all-clear.
"Gaxa and Nkhatha are not in any danger," said the PRO. Maphosa said Baxter was pleased with the progress his troops have made in their pre-season combinations, but had indicated the squad still had to "find the right combinations".
Amakhosi are looking forward to their clash with Pirates this weekend.