'We lost Vila, Percy and Khama'

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Vilakazi has been ruled out for six months after he ruptured his Achilles tendon while in camp with Bafana Bafana. The former Bidvest Wits captain is set to miss the rest of the season, which means he will not be part of the Absa Premiership and CAF Champions League campaigns.

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Mngqithi bemoaned the Vilakazi injury, especially after losing Percy Tau and Khama Billiat to other clubs before the start of this season.

"It's very obvious that it's a big blow for us to lose a player like 'Vila'. It has very negative effects on him because he has got his own goals that he has set. Chatting to him you will always realise the levels of frustration when you have such a long-term injury. If you remember he had a long-term injury on the knee before, so you know what happens with such long-term injuries," Mngqithi says.

"At Sundowns the effects are even more because when you look at it very closely, you will realise that from the beginning of the season up until now we have lost three of our starting players from last season. You have lost Vila, you have lost Percy and you have lost Khama. That has a huge say on how the team performs from the beginning of the season up until now.

"We have not had that rhythm that you'd expect us to have, but we are still proud that we have not lost a [league match]. But for a team like Sundowns to have so many draws is worrying."

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Sundowns take on Bloemfontein Celtic in the Telkom Knockout last-16 at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday (18h00).

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