‘Mido’ delighted with timely return

Maluleka has been a key figure under Steve Komphela this season, starting 13 of the first 15 games of the campaign before being disrupted by an ankle injury in January.

The 29-year-old has since missed seven of his side’s last eight fixtures since the start of February, and has attributed this to a relapse of the same injury.

“I got injured during the first game [after the festive break] and I kept playing with it so it got worse and worse, while I was trying to manage it,” Maluleka explained.

“I then went out for about two weeks, came back too early in the Bloemfontein Celtic game and I hurt myself again so I had to sit out again.

“But it was a slight fracture, nothing serious, and I just needed to sit down and let it heal on its own, which I’ve now done.”

Having initially played through the pain, ‘Mido’ says it was a case of him wanting to help the team as well as the team needing his services, while he has also given credit to his replacement Wiseman Meyiwa.

“It’s a bit of both in a way, I’ve played a very important role in partnering Willard Katsande all season long. Meyiwa has come in and done a very good job as well,” he admitted.

“But it’s a bit of both – me wanting to help the team and the team needing me. I think injuries will always be there. It was obviously heart-breaking after starting the season very well and doing well in trying to help the team.

“But I only have so much control over an injury, and I’m glad it’s gone now and I’m back at full training with the guys. I’m back in contention for team selection and I’m excited about the fact that I can be involved in the last five games of the season.”

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