Musa Nyatama and Xola Mlambo were also surprisingly benched for the first round, first leg goalless draw at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Saturday.
With Stars sitting back and committing numbers behind the ball, Sredojevic tried to change the complexion of the game when he introduced Lorch and Mulenga on the hour mark, but to no avail.
“There are two aspects: virus and in the same moment exhaustion from the point of the players because some players had [played on] Saturday and Tuesday, including Lorch and Mulenga,” Sredojevic explained.
“They have been on the brink of breaking in a way that we are pushing them away to the injury level.
“So ethically, we were looking to take care of that aspect and it was not meant to be. We have planned and wanted; however, it did not happen.
“Now we cannot cry for the milk we have poured down, we need to produce and work hard in a match away and provide the best possible version of Orlando Pirates.”
The Serbian insisted Bucs did their homework on their little-known Namibian opponents.
“It was very hard to follow them because we had no chance to see them. However, we had our people going away. We had so many aspects of information, and what was provided was enough.
“Exactly what we expected is what we got from this opponent."
Pirates, who are second on the Absa Premiership table with 27 points from 15 games, will conclude 2018 with a trip to Stars this Saturday.