Mamelodi Sundowns will be without one of their key defenders when the new season gets underway.
Brazilian Ricardo Nascimento, who won the Absa Premiership Defender of the Season accolade, is set to miss the start of the new campaign after undergoing a groin operation.
Nascimento is currently not part of the Brazilians pre-season preparations and is recuperating at home in Brazil.
Sundowns are set to leave for Botswana today, where they will play a friendly match before heading to DR Congo to play African heavyweights TP Mazembe, as well as Don Boso.
Their opening match of the Absa Premiership season will be against Tshwane rivals SuperSport United on August 3.
Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has since confirmed that Nascimento has undergone a successful operation on his groin injury.
“Ricardo has gone for an operation. It will take a little bit longer,” said Mosimane.
“It’s the same challenge on left leg and now it’s on the right with groin. He made an operation and it’s looking good. It’s going to take some time.”
Midfielder Gaston Sirino, meanwhile, is a doubt for the Brazilians’ trip to Botswana after he picked up a nasty injury during the pre-season training held in Mbombela recently.