Captured South African journalist Shiraaz Mohamed is alive in Syria and could be home within a month.
Coach Gordon Igesund also included defender Siyanda Xulu, who plays his football in Russia, in the 24-man list.
Kaizer Chiefs fullback Tsepo Masilela and Orlando Pirates midfielder Daine Klate return after long absences from the national set-up.
Katlego Mphela was named amongst a group of 12 players that will be added to the squad after the December 22 friendly at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
The Mamelodi Sundowns striker recently returned from a six-month spell on the sidelines due to knee surgery.
The other players that will link up with the team are Darren Keet, Eric Mathoho, Anele Ngcongca, Andile Jali, Teko Modise, Bongani Khumalo, Ricardo Nunes, Kagisho Dikgacoi, Dean Furman, Thulani Serero and Benni McCarthy.
The final 23-man squad for the Africa Cup of Nations will be announced on December 30.