Sundowns sweating on the fitness of Andile Jali

Mamelodi Sundowns midfield star Andile Jali received a yellow card during Sundowns' costly 2-2 draw with Maritzburg United on Friday night.
Mamelodi Sundowns midfield star Andile Jali received a yellow card during Sundowns' costly 2-2 draw with Maritzburg United on Friday night.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Mamelodi Sundowns are sweating on the fitness of key midfielder Andile Jali and striker Kermit Erasmus for their DStv Premiership match-up against AmaZulu at Loftus Versfeld on Sunday.

Sundowns co-coach Rulani Mokwena said they are assessing their multitude of internationals who were on Africa Cup of Nations qualifying duty during the past Fifa date.

Jali was called up to Molefi Ntseki’s Bafana Bafana squad for back to back wins over Sao Tome and Principe but did not play due to a hamstring injury he picked up in Downs’ 2-0 DStv Premiership away win against Cape Town City before the qualifiers.

Erasmus returned from the camp with a muscular injury.

“We are sweating a little bit‚ and we are a bit concerned on some of the players‚” Mokwena said.

“We are concerned about ‘AJ’ [Jali]. AJ hasn’t trained with us‚ but we are getting good feedback from the doctors. So we will have to see on AJ‚ and assess leading up to the game.

“Kermit we will have to assess because with a muscular injury‚ and all these niggles‚ the studies always show that a niggle relates to an injury 75 percent of the time.

“So it’s important that we treat that as a serious precaution and we get our medical department to asses‚ and have a look and see – because Kermit is very important to us.

“But we also have to check the players who have come back [from international duty]. They have been all over Africa.

“Peter [Shalulile]‚ Brian Onyango‚ Thapelo [Morena]‚ Lyle [Lakay] – we have to see where they are in terms of their conditioning and their recovery‚ and their readiness for the match.

“That’s the most important thing for them now – to integrate them‚ but integrate them with refreshing them. So we are sweating‚ but it’s a good sweat because we’ve got a very good squad‚ we’ve got enough depth to be able to handle any challenge.

“Because all the Sundowns players are top players and whoever’s on the pitch on Sunday will be able to represent Masandawana very well.”

Sundowns have had a bright start to 2020-21 under their three co-coaches – Mokwena‚ Manqoba Mngqithi and Steve Komphela. The Brazilians‚ bolstered by a multitude of signings‚ have won four‚ lost one and drawn one of six league and cup matches.

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