KickOff.com broke news yesterday that Gould raptured his Achilles tendon in the last training session prior to the Mamelodi Sundowns game and now faces the prospect of staying on the sidelines for the rest of the year.
In the meantime, Baxter has hinted at bringing a central defender from Europe and with Valery Nahayo having already expressed his desire to return to South Africa after just a year in Belgium, the Burundian might be the likely signing.
“His [Gould] injury is a virtual rapture of the Achilles tendon with a few threads only hanging in there. It could have been worse if it had gone to the top of his knee or calf,” Baxter says.
“It will be a long-term injury that will take four-and-a-half to six months. It is a long injury, but I said to the players that Morgan is a warrior and I am not worried about him because he will come back and he will still play for us and his country and still be outstanding.
“I told them that I am more worried about you guys because it is your responsibility without Morgan to still manage. They showed us [against Sundowns] that they can manage,” says Batxer.
Baxter admits discussions with management have already been initiated about a replacement for Gould.
“We can probably loan someone locally because I don’t think there is any club in South Africa that can do us a favour if we try and sign a player from them,” the Englishman adds.
“So it’s maybe a player from Europe, but I am not making any promises because we have only been in discussion about this since Tuesday. I cannot say anymore on this, but it is a hole that we will try and fill. If we don’t fill it then we will go on with the players that we have because I have confidence in them.”
Baxter adds that the injury to Gould – an off-season signing from SuperSport United – is a huge blow.
“It is a big blow for us not to have Morgan. It is a blow because Morgan is a good player. It is a blow because Morgan is a leader and it is a blow because his absence greatly unbalances the squad, though ‘Masha’ [Tefu Mashamaite] did a great job.
“Masha will and can do the job, but it makes the squad thin. It means we cannot afford to get injuries and suspensions in this situation. The injury to Morgan weakens the squad.”