A few months ago, Sibusiso Vilakazi’s season was deemed over after he sustained an Achilles injury while in camp with Bafana Bafana.
Chances of playing at the Africa Cup of Nations at the time were so slim, due to the fact that when he sustained the injury in October, it was said that he would be out for the rest of the season, so there’d be no chance of him making it to play in Egypt this month.
The former Bidvest Wits underwent surgery and the determined Vilakazi worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that he gets back way ahead of the scheduled time. On social media Sundowns kept posting pictures of him working in the gym to get strong and when he appeared during the Discovery Walter Sisulu Soccer Challenge in November last year, wearing a moon boot and on crutches, the 28-year-old said: “Day by day there’s progress, so I take it a day at the time. The little you do at rehab makes a difference. Maybe the earliest can be next month. Nobody knows.
“The only thing I can do is focus on my recovery, so I can’t do anything in influencing how my team performs. They are a huge motivation when I am watching them.”
He made a return to the pitch in April to help Sundowns in their final push for the Absa Premiership title, and has done enough to convince Bafana coach Stuart Baxter to include in the final squad for AFCON.
Vilakazi, who played eight matches between April and May, has made an incredible return to the field.