Palacios worked in pain since taking over


Palacios, who will remain part of the club structures with his head of development job once he recovers from the spinal operation that he had last week, talks of the pain that has left him walking with a heavy limp.

"This operation didn't really come as a surprise to me because on March 9, I was already feeling the pain before I was appointed on March 12 (taking over from Julio Leal). So for the past five months I have been doing my work feeling the pain. I was training with them because of the way the chairman spoke to me and how much I wanted to succeed with the players. It will take a month or two for me to recover," says Palacios.

"I want to wish Roger everything of the best because he is not someone that I only got to know now. He was at the wedding of my daughter and that of my son," adds the Peru born veteran coach.

READ: De Sa named new Pirates coach.

Club boss Irvin Khoza says that asking Palacios to step aside was all to do with his health and not the bad start that the champions have endured to the season.

"We have had the unexpected situation where our coach had to be hospitalised. Last week the coach had spinal surgery which necessitated that we intervene. We agreed as a club that we allow him to step aside and allow him to recover with the unfortunate part being that he cannot sit down for more than 30 minutes.

"If he doesn't follow the medical advice he may be paralysed or never be able to walk again. We hope that he recovers soon and when he recovers he will go back to development," says Khoza.

The Iron Duke adds that he had to check with Palacios thrice before eventually deciding to bring in De Sa.

"It is better to protect his (Palacios) health," says Khoza.

"In Roger we have a passionate man who has done very well for the last 12 years at Wits and was actually recruited to Swallows during his playing days by my friend Screamer Tshabalala.

"The challenge is huge but he will still be able to speak to Augusto and all the other guys in the technical team. He is not a new guy because he has been around for some time now in this industry," adds Khoza.