Missing Mabizela news

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‘OJ’ went AWOL ahead of Bafana Bafana’s camp for the international friendly against Malawi last night. The former Bafana skipper was scheduled to report on Sunday but failed to turn up.

This was confirmed by Bafana team manager Sipho Nkumane who said Mabizela had been informed of his call-up by the Brazilians.

Nkumane added that when Mabizela failed to turn up, he again contacted the club but they also had no knowledge of the player’s whereabouts.

Sundowns’ Harris Chueu said he had contacted the player’s family in Howick.

Chueu is on record as saying: “His mother told me he left on Sunday morning, saying he would come back later to take his bags to go to the camp… but he didn’t.

“His behaviour is disrespectful to Sundowns and to the national team. His knee injury was not serious. Even if it was, it is no excuse for not reporting. We can’t tolerate this. We are going to take strong action against him.”

However, Sundowns executive technical director Ted Dumitru entered the fray on Monday night, saying Mabizela had not gone AWOL.

“The truth is that he is paying the price of trying to get back into the Bafana Bafana scheme of things.

“He picked up a cartilage injury a couple of weeks ago. But because he was aware that he is so close to receiving another national call-up, he kept on plugging away but unfortunately he picked up a knock during the MTN8 final against Kaizer Chiefs which necessitated a closer medical attention.”

According to a letter written by Sundowns’ medic, Dr P Human, Mabizela’s Grade 2 medial collateral ligament injury in the right knee, which he had picked up in May, resurfaced in early September.

On September 20 the injury was aggravated while OJ was playing on an artificial surface. He then featured in a match on September 23 against Kaizer Chiefs, but the injury became worse.

Human says Mabizela consulted him and he got the player an appointment for an arthroscopy on Monday, September 30.

Mabizela did not pitch to the Bafana camp that Monday, did not answer his cellphone and subsequently missed his appointment with the specialist, Dr M Fergusson and Human has subsequently urged that strong disciplinary action be taken against the player.

Dumitru’s ‘explanation’ appears to hold water because of the medic’s statement.

Mabizela’s disappearance took a new twist yesterday when it emerged that he had been involved in a car accident while in Pietermaritzburg and no-one knew he was in KwaZulu\Natal.

This was confirmed by Sundowns’ spokesperson Mahlatse Mphahlele who said that OJ’s mother had phoned to say her son had been involved in an accident and that his car had been towed to her home.

“We do not have any more information, in fact are not even aware of the extent of his injury, if there is any.”

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