Stuart Baxter concedes Tefu Mashamaite injury concerns
Posted: 22 September 2016 Time: 21:53
SuperSport United coach Stuart Baxter is still not convinced with the fitness of new signing Tefu Mashamaite, but has ruled out surgery on his injured knee.
The former Kaizer Chiefs captain returned to South Africa to join his former coach at the Tshwane club, but suffered a knee injury just a few days after arriving at Megawatt Park.
The 31-year-old former PSL and Kick Off Footballer of the Year, who plied his trade in Sweden with BK Hacken for the past year, has seen his Matsatsantsa debut delayed after scans showed damage to his bones.
Baxter previously indicated that 'Masha' might need surgery, however, the Scottish tactician has revealed that the defender is back in training, though he is not ready for selection as yet.
"'Masha' has started training properly and we thought he would be out for an operation but we've put that off," revealed Baxter in Durban on Thursday.
"We are going to wait until the Christmas term to see if he can strengthen [his knee] and we hope he can be back, but he's certainly not selectable yet."
Baxter added that the club's medical staff will continue monitoring his situation and may decide to have the operation done should he fail to show progress or his situation regresses.
"It's a difficult one because there's a piece of bone and it was floated in his knee, and the surgeon said ,'He can continue or we can strengthen the whole knee and see if he manages,' but he's done one full training and he didn't have any pain," he added.
"We are hopefull that we can build it up and get through, but at anytime we could be saying, 'no it's not working out so he needs the operation.' So it's a minor operation."
Meanwhile, Baxter also explained veteran midfielder David Mathebula's ommission from their squad which was registered for the first half of the season.
"David has had a compromised pre-season. He has had injuries, and at this moment he is not selectable," he explained.
"He's not fit enough to take over from Dean [Furman] or 'Yeye'... He's not fit enough, basically. He's had an injury and I think he's played one Multichoice Diski Challenge game.
"He missed a lot of the pre-season games so David, first of all, will get himself into real match condition and then put himself in contention along with the rest of the team because he is a member of our squad."