booth fit to face usuthu

MAMELODI Sundowns defender Matthew Booth is likely to return to action tomorrow after recovering from an ankle injury that sidelined him for four weeks.

MAMELODI Sundowns defender Matthew Booth is likely to return to action tomorrow after recovering from an ankle injury that sidelined him for four weeks.

The towering defender could be in the starting line-up when Downs host AmaZulu in an Absa Premiership match at Super Stadium in Atteridgeville tomorrow night.

This should be a relief to coach Hristo Stoichkov, whose side is smarting from a 4-2 drubbing by Bidvest Wits in their last league match.

Booth has been training with the team for the past few days, having undergone an ankle operation four weeks ago.

The lanky defender, who is also popular with the national team, missed Bafana Bafana's win over Madagascar in Kimberley on Saturday.

But he was missed mostly in the heart of the Downs defence, whose sloppiness in dealing with set-pieces proved fatal against The Clever Boys at Milpark.

"This (ankle) was something that I had to attend to now. Had I left it unattended, it could have gotten worse with time," said Booth. "My aim is to play on Wednesday, but I obviously have to be careful and it is the coach's decision to consider for the match."

Sitting in the stands last Wednesday was an ordeal for Booth, who pleaded with supporters to have patience.

"It was disappointing for me to watch. Having been very comfortable for most of the game, we lost it in the last 20 minutes. I think we were a little bit naive in defending those set-pieces. Unfortunately we dropped three points, which we hopefully won't regret later on in the season," Booth said.

"We have very knowledgeable supporters. Sundowns has been the most successful team in the last two decades and when you lose to a team such as Wits in the manner that we did, that kind of reaction is to be expected.

"But we need them to help us get our form back. This is a clear signal for us to pull up our socks as players, look at ourselves and put things right," he said.

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