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Football | Bafana Bafana

Katlego Mphela © Gallo Images

Mphela unlikely to play this year



Katlego Mphela is not likely to resume proper training at Mamelodi Sundowns before the club closes down for the Christmas and New Year holidays, effectively ruling the striker of out next year’s African Nations Cup finals.

Mphela has began light jogging at Sundowns but is still at least six weeks away from being able to participate in any proper training sessions, said officials on Tuesday.

The striker has not kicked a ball since surgery in June on his knee.

It has taken a lot longer than initially expected for Mphela but he is unlikely to return before the re-start of the league next February, which follows the competition of the African Nations Cup finals.

Mphela is one of several high profile absentees for South Africa at the upcoming finals. Also doubtful are Morgan Gould, Thulani Serero and Daylon Classen, who also have long term injury problems and whose absence leaves Gordon Igesund with a major headache.

Mphela last played when Bafana Bafana drew in Botswana in a World Cup qualifier in Gaborone in June.

Last season Mphela also battled with injury but still scored 11 goals in 18 league and cup starts. The 27-year-old has scored 71 times in 139 starts.

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