De Sa says the combination of Siyabonga Sangweni and Rooi Mahamutsa was ideal for the Esperance match, hence Lekgwathi was not considered.
Lekgwathi had missed training for a couple of days prior to the match against the Tunisians, because of family reasons, but De Sa suggests his off-the-field issues had nothing to do with him being dropped.
“Lucky just didn’t make the team, that’s it,” the coach says. “Rooi and Sangweni did very well again.
“We have another match on Tuesday [in the Telkom Knockout against Mpumalanga Black Aces] and probably we will need Lucky to play on Tuesday. So that’s the way the squad is, only 11 can play.
“Against Esperance, we picked the best 11 for the type of game we had and it was ideal for Rooi and Sangweni,” the coach adds.
Lekgwathi’s father is reportedly ill, while his aunt has passed away.
The veteran defender was the centre of controversy this week when he claimed “sinister forces” behind the scenes at Pirates forced him out of the MTN8 Final the previous weekend, when Bucs lost on penalties to Platinum Stars.
According to some reports, the 37-year-old is set to be called to a disciplinary hearing for bringing the club into disrepute.