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Pienaar hoping to play on Saturday

TOTTENHAM Hotspur star midfielder Steven "Schillo" Pienaar admitted yesterday that he was disappointed that a knee injury denied him the opportunity to play against Orlando Pirates, the club he supported as a child.

"I really wanted to play against Pirates on Tuesday but doctors advised me to rest," Pienaar said yesterday at a briefing in Johannesburg where he was unveiled as Puma's global ambassador.

The Bafana Bafana captain has been struggling with a niggling knee injury but he told Sowetan yesterday he was 90percent fit.

"I'm recovering from the injury," said the popular Westbury, Johannesburg-born midfielder.

He said his love for the Buccaneers was influenced by his peers in his home town.

"Almost everybody supported Pirates," Pienaar said. "I'm a little disappointed but you don't have to push if the doctors advise otherwise. We are still busy with our pre-season training and it's not like we are in the middle of the league campaign where we are desperate for a win."

Pienaar said he was hoping to be declared fit to play in the Vodacom Challenge final on Saturday.

"I still have two training sessions as part of the final preparations but a decision will be taken by the medical personnel."

On the national team, Pienaar said he was happy they were on the brink of qualifying for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations finals. "We need a win from our remaining two matches against Niger and Sierra Leone to be home and dry."

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