Kaizer Chiefs have received a timely boost ahead of their crucial Telkom Knockout semi-final against Maritzburg United at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Sunday, with confirmation on Thursday that midfielder Kearyn Baccus has recovered from the injury and is available for selection.
Baccus has missed the past four Chiefs matches after he was sidelined by a knee injury, his absence has been evident in the Amakhosi midfield as they were struggling to retain ball possession and circulate in better especially in the two Soweto derbies.
Even Amakhosi head coach Ernst Middendorp couldn’t hide his smile when he spoke about the return of Baccus.
The good thing about this break is that almost all internationals from Chiefs with the exception of Lazarous Kambole were in action something that augurs well for the momentum of the club. Middendorp says he’s also used this break to get other injured players back in shape.
With Nigeria international goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi suspended for this game, Middendorp has confirmed that Bruce Bvuma will be wearing the number one jersey.
But it’s the prolonged absence of Itumeleng Khune that remains a huge concern not only to Chiefs but to Bafana Bafana as well. Last season he only featured in 17 matches out of 41 in all of the competitions due to a shoulder injury.
This season, he’s only played two matches out of two out of 13 matches, due to another injury. His contract with Chiefs expires at the end of this season and on Thursday, Middendorp didn’t have a clear answer on his possible return.
Middendorp says everyone associated with the club should take credit for the sold-out signs that go up almost every time the team is playing especially on the road. The two recent Soweto derbies, away game to Mamelodi Sundowns were all sold out.
You can also add some of the away matches to Cape Town City, a winning Chiefs team almost guarantees a sold-out venue. Middendorp says the wining culture which has seen them registering 11 victories in 13 matches this season has also contributed to this.
– Report by Velile Mnyandu