Baxter lost Pule in the current national team camp through a knee injury and has since called up his Orlando Pirates teammate Thembinkosi Lorch as a replacement.
The former Bidvest Wits winger’s withdrawal comes as quite a blow for Bafana, who also had France-based attacker Keagan Dolly ruled out through a shin fracture last month.
While Lorch is another man on form at present, the 25-year-old is a right-footed addition rather than a left-footed one, which leaves Baxter thin of options on that end of the pitch.
However, the Brit is adamant he will adapt to the situation and may turn to the likes of Aubrey Modiba or Phakamani Mahlambi, who could offer a threat down either flank.
“We’ve got a lot of good righties,” Baxter responded in jest to being quizzed over the potential challenge of being lopsided on the flanks.
“But, yeah, Vincent had a role that I was thinking of, and we’ve now got Innocent [Maela], Aubrey and Phakamani [that] can play wide on that side too.
“The other side, coming in off the line we’ve got ‘Vila’ [Sibusiso Vilakazi], Lebo [Maboe] and [Lebo] Phiri. We’ve got, I think, a decent balance. But, yeah, a couple of lefties have gone out so maybe it would have been nice to have another one.”
Baxter further revealed that the extent of Pule’s injury may be of some concern for his club too, after a scan on Monday showed up worse than initially anticipated.
“Vincent Pule’s got a bad one. The scan showed that he’s got damage on his cruciate ligament, so it isn’t just a kick that maybe people first thought.”