Bafana arrived in Polokwane on Monday and coach Stuart Baxter had to wait for the overseas-based players to arrive in dribs and drabs.
Kaizer Chiefs players – Tshabalala and Mulomowandau Mathoho – only arrived on Tuesday morning. Tshabalala’s Amakhosi teammate Itumeleng Khune has also been seeing a specialist for the broken bones in his face and could play with a mask, if the medical team gives him the green light.
Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Hlompho Kekana has been excused from camp due to a family tragedy and will be replaced by clubmate Tiyani Mabunda.
Thulani Serero has told the national team that he will not fly to South Africa if he is not guaranteed game-time.
It’s only Wednesday and Bafana have had an eventful week, but Tshabalala says they are focused on the game on Friday.
“There’s always challenges and we are professionals. We need to deal with them. Some players are not 100% and others are not here, but we have to understand and be professional about it. There’s still a job that needs to be done on Friday,” the former Free State Stars midfielder said after the morning training session on Tuesday.
In his first training session with the team yesterday, Tshabalala looked as though he was never away. He appeared to be enjoying himself as he reunited with Baxter, having previously worked together at Chiefs.
'Shabba' was pulled out for the last few minutes of training because of a hip problem, but it’s nothing serious.
“I feel good, happy to be back in the team and I had a great session. I am looking forward to the game on Friday. I know the importance of the game. We need to make sure we do well at home and then four days later we also do well [in Dakar] and qualify for the World Cup.
“For me it’s business as usual. I do my best both on and off the field to help the team and I will also advise and lead through performance the best way I can.”