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Buhle: I'm ready, physically and mentally

Posted: 18 November 2017 Time: 08:45

Bidvest Wits defender Buhle Mkhwanazi says he is itching to get back out on the park following his recovery from a six-month injury lay-off.

Mkhwanazi last featured for the Clever Boys in May this year, before sustaining a knee ligament injury that has kept him sidelined ever since, and only recently returned to full fitness.

The 27-year-old centre-back has been a notable absentee for Gavin Hunt's side, who have struggled to find their feet this season – having kept just three clean sheets in 14 matches thus far – with four different central defensive partnerships being tested.

"It's a great feeling. I've been out for a very long time, and it was a tough healing process for myself because we were not doing well," admitted Mkhwanazi ahead of this Saturday's Telkom Knockout semi-final with Kaizer Chiefs.

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"Obviously it was affecting me somehow, but now I'm happy that I'm back and I'm ready to try and help the team get positive results again."

The towering defender made his first appearance of the season in their 1-0 win over Baroka in the cup a fortnight ago, coming on as a substitute in stoppage time.

Mkhwanazi admits he was anxious upon his entrance onto the park, but feels a lot more confident of his readiness after playing a few friendlies during the recent international break.

"To be honest, when I got injured they said I would be back [ready to start training] after six months, which was on November 9, and the doctors actually felt I needed to wait a bit longer," he said.

"I could feel that I could run, turn and do a whole lot of things, but I still had to wait. But then the coach thought, 'Right, now you can just come on off the bench [against Baroka]'.

"Obviously in the first few minutes you're excited, and you also panic a bit because you don't know if you're going to get injured or feel the same pain again, but at least I managed to played a few minutes.

"Right now I've been preparing well, played a few friendlies without any pains or anything, so I feel I'm 100 percent. I think I've played like three friendlies and they all went well. Everything is fine and I think I'm ready, both physically and mentally."

Wits will host Chiefs at the Bidvest Stadium at 15h30 tomorrow, with a place in the Telkom Knockout final up for grabs.

Article by: Chad Klate (@CKlatey)

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