SuperSport United injury update: Mashamaite, Kekana, Ritchie, Grobler, Bhasera, Daniels, Booysen
Posted: 13 October 2016 Time: 13:10
SuperSport United coach Stuart Baxter has provided an injury update on his ailing squad, while confirming that defender Tefu Mashamaite underwent knee surgery.
Matsatsantsa have been battling with a long list of injuries since the start of the 2016/17 season, leaving Baxter limited for options despite an array of new signings arriving in the pre-season.
One new arrival in particular being former PSL and KICK OFF Footballer of the Season Mashamaite, who returned from Swedish side BK Hacken a month and a half ago.
The experienced centre-back has been sitting in the medical room with a knee injury but, in conjunction with the club doctors, has finally decided to undergo surgery.
The Scottish tactician has provided an update on 'Masha' as well as the rest of his injured players ahead of the Absa Premiership clash against Highlands Park on Sunday afternoon.
"At the moment we've got 'Masha', who has just had his operation; Grant Kekana has just had an operation [both on their knees]," confirmed Baxter at the club's media day on Thursday morning.
"Keegan Ricthie has been training, but we've had to back off him a little bit because he's going a bit too quick so we want to see how that settles.
"Bradley Grobler is the same – he did his rehab, he's got back and he's taken three steps forward but has now had to take one backwards, and we'll wait and see [how he comes along].
"Clayton Daniels is training fully but he has a semi-cast [on his arm] and that's sort of, 'Do you call him selectable or not?'. If Clayton was playing, that would be deemed as a weapon," he added, jokingly.
"Mario [Booysen] has just come to me; he's going to miss training today [because] he got a bit of strain yesterday. I don't expect anything [serious] there, but you never know."
Baxter, though, confirmed that Ritchie, Grobler, Daniels and Booysen are all set for late fitness tests ahead of Sunday's clash, while his international contingent have all been given a day's rest and are set to return to training on Friday.
Pressed for more details on Mashamaite's injury and procedure, the former Chiefs mentor explained: "The whole thing with 'Masha' is, he had a bad injury when he was at Hacken, recovered from it, started playing again, came back to South Africa and very quickly felt a pain in his knee.
"There was no trauma; no tackle or anything; he just found that he was getting a pain in his knee, but he kicked on through it because he's a new player and there's a bit of hype around his return so he didn't want to throw the towel in.
"I looked at him and thought, 'No! He's not 100%' so we talked to him and sent him for a MRI scan and found that he had a foreign body – like a small piece of bone – that's floating around his knee.
"It could have come from anything – the pitch; going from playing on astro turf in Sweden to coming back to a different pitch; anything. We then had to decide if should we take it [the option of surgery] now or hang on and see how he manages.
"We then decided to go the conservative route but after a while 'Masha' said it's not getting better, so he basically had an athroscopy done yesterday and they just picked [the foreign body] out of his knee. It's gone smoothly and he's happy, and we're happy that his on a more permanent road to recovery."
Baxter then added that the 32-year-old should start training again in "14 days", while his much anticipated debut with the Tshwane side is expected in as early as "three weeks".
In the latest KICK OFF Magazine, Tefu Mashamaite reveals why he chose to return to South Africa. For the full story get the October edition – on sale now! Or download a digital copy here!