Dube back in frame for Bucs after sending off

Mthokozisi Dube of Pirates has recovered from an injury. / Veli Nhlapo
Mthokozisi Dube of Pirates has recovered from an injury. / Veli Nhlapo

Orlando Pirates coach Milutin "Micho" Sredojevic has confirmed that almost-forgotten right-back Mthokozisi Dube is in contention for their CAF Champions League preliminary round return leg berth away to Light Stars from the Seychelles today.

Dube, 26, has not featured in an official match since his red card against Chippa United in a league match in August. In his absence, Abbubaker Mobara and Asavela Mbekile, among others, were slotted in at his berth.

"Regarding Dube, after that red card against Chippa he got injured. He's [now] on a very good road to come back and he's in contention. He'll travel with us to Seychelles and will possibly get the match minutes," said Sredojevic.

The Sea Robbers mentor has also outlined the processes Bucs players have to go through to return to the first team after recovering from injuries. The Serbian insisted they don't just throw a returning player back into the starting line-up without following procedures.

"We are having an introduction, I call it 'buying the ticket'. First you must pass all the medical aspects, then go to fitness coaches ... from there you start training with the first competitive team.

"After all these processes, you play friendly games and that's practically buying the ticket to be in contention in the first team," he elaborated.

"Due to the fact that we need players that have match fitness, we can't introduce players simply like a parachute from injury directly to the field of play in a competitive match. Dube has passed those aspects and he's on the brink of coming back fully."

Despite mainly using fringe players, Pirates thrashed minnows Light Stars 5-1 in the home leg last week. With the match played three days before their Telkom Knockout final against Baroka at the Nelson Mandela Bay, the Soweto giants are, again, likely to rest their key players today.

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