Kutumela buoyed by Bucs return
Posted: 31 July 2018 Time: 15:01
Orlando Pirates have been boosted by the return of striker Thabiso Kutumela from a lengthy injury lay-off since last season.
Kutumela had been sidelined since the end of February, after undergoing surgery to a fractured ankle that saw his 2017/18 season come to a premature end.
The 25-year-old forward, who joined Pirates from Baroka two years ago, had just gained momentum under new coach Milutin Sredojevic before suffering the setback.
He managed two goals in nine starts, and scored a stunning free-kick against Maritzburg United just days before being ruled out for three-to-six months.
However, five months later, Kutumela is now buoyed by his return to action after being cleared by the Bucs medical department this week. He admits the journey continues as he still needs time to build himself up mentally.
“I am happy to be back training again,” Kutumela told his club's official website. “It has been a long time since I last trained with the guys.
"It was such a relief to be running with my boots on. The toughest part, however, in my recovery has always been the mental side of things.
"But, I am thankful to the medical team as well as the support that I have been getting from my family, the coaches and my teammates.”
Having missed out on the club's pre-season preparations while going through rehabilitation and fitness work, Kutumela is now set to gather match sharpness before being in contention for The Buccaneers' competitive clashes.
Pirates take on Highlands Park in their season-opener on Saturday (20h15) at the Orlando Stadium, before facing SuperSport United in the MTN8 quarterfinals next weekend.