McCarthy, Mathoho out of Bafana
Bafana Bafana have started their training camp at Orlando Stadium in Soweto which runs from Thursday until Saturday.
The squad consists of 31 players – the 24 that was selected for the international friendly match against Malawi last weekend in Durban and an additional seven more.
Coach Gordon Igesund will announce the final 23-man squad on Sunday.
Almost all players reported for national duty with the exception of striker Benni McCarthy and defender Eric Mathoho who have been withdrawn from the camp due to injuries. McCarthy is suffering from a troublesome hamstring while Mathoho has a knee injury.
“It is a blow when any player called up for the national team pulls out due to injury. It would have been a great situation to have both of them here,” said Igesund.
Ayanda Patosi and Andile Jali were given a break as a precautionary measure. Both have niggling ankle injuries but are expected to join their compatriots at training on Friday.
Due to club commitments, England-based Kagisho Dikgacoi and Dean Furman, as well as Darren Keet who plays in Belgium will not be part of the training camp.
“I already have 19 players in my mind but I still have some decisions to make for the rest, so there are still some places up for grabs.
“These are exciting but also testing times for me and the players because at the end of the day only 23 players can make the squad. We saw in the match against Malawi that all players want to be part of this fiesta. But it does not mean if players are excluded from the Afcon squad it is the end of the road, we still have plenty of tournaments to come,” added Igesund.
“What I am happy about is the great vibe in the squad and you can see all the players are eager to do their best which makes life harder for me and my technical team.”
Players in camp:
Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune, Wayne Sandilands, Senzo Meyiwa
Defenders:Bevan Fransman, Thabo Nthete, Siyabonga Sangweni, Siyanda Xulu, Siboniso Gaxa, Tshepo Masilela, Thabo Matlaba
Midfielders: Oupa Manyisa, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Sifiso Myeni, Thanduyise Khuboni, May Mahlangu, Delron Buckley, Lerato Chabangu, Thuso Phala, Ayanda Patosi, Daine Klate
Strikers: Bernard Parker, Lehlohonolo Majoro, Tokelo Rantie
Anele Ngcongca, Andile Jali, Teko Modise, Bongani Khumalo, Ricardo Nunes, Thulani Serero, Katlego Mphela