Molangoane has no chance to come back into the Kaizer Chiefs side this season‚ says Middendorp

Joseph Molangoane of Kaizer Chiefs celebrate after scoring a goal during the Absa Premiership match between Ajax Cape Town and Kaizer Chiefs at Cape Town Stadium on May 12, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Joseph Molangoane of Kaizer Chiefs celebrate after scoring a goal during the Absa Premiership match between Ajax Cape Town and Kaizer Chiefs at Cape Town Stadium on May 12, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Image: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

Wingback Joseph Molangoane will not return from injury this season‚ Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp has said.

Middendorp also revealed that star forward Khama Billiat appears doubtful for sixth-placed Amakhosi’s Absa Premiership fixture against ninth-positioned Highlands Park at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday (kickoff 6pm).

Molangoane has been out of action since suffering a broken ankle in Chiefs’ 3-0 MTN8 quarterfinal victory against Free State Stars in just Amakhosi’s third match of the season on August 11.

“He is far behind. He has no chance to come back into the team this season‚” Middendorp pronounced on Thursday morning.

Middendorp could not commit on whether centre-forward Leonardo Castro will return against Highlands from the groin injury and sickness that kept him out of the Soweto giants’ 1-1 draw away against Polokwane City on Saturday.

Castro‚ though‚ has more chance than strike partner Billiat‚ who got a knock against Polokwane‚ and a calf injury‚ and the next day could not run.

Middendorp said Chiefs have been preparing for a physical challenge from Owen Da Gama’s compact‚ robust Highlands.

“Of course we are aware about it. A certain approach from the opponent’s side‚” Chiefs’ coach said.

“And‚ OK‚ we have put it into the training sessions and into the preparations during the week; starting on Tuesday after being very disappointed about the game on Saturday‚ managing only a 1-1‚ which was completely unnecessary.

“Ja‚ we are aware about it [Highlands’ physical approach]‚ and about selecting the right players who are good in movement off the ball‚ good in one-on-ones.

“At the moment I can’t really give you a 100 percent impression about Khama‚ because he hasn’t been on the field this week.

“Leonardo started on Monday‚ Tuesday slow. I don’t know how far he is prepared to do‚ and be the right one.

“On the other side I’m very pleased to have guys like ‘Rama’ [right-back Ramahlwe Mphahlele] back. When we talk about energy‚ communication and leadership‚ it’s good to have guys like Rama and Philani Zulu back and better and better every day.”

Chiefs’ exciting young wing prospect Happy Mashiane is set to miss three more matches with the fracture he sustained in their Nedbank Cup win against ABC Motsepe League Magic FC.

“Lebogang Manyama and Eric Mathoho probably need three or four more weeks. Probably the end of March‚” Middendorp said.

Chiefs will want to pick up three points on Saturday to get back on track for a top three finish.

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