Bafana Bafana face a stern test to overcome a concerning injury situation in their camp during the upcoming 2026 Fifa World Cup qualifiers.
South Africa host Benin on Saturday before travelling to Kigali for Tuesday’s date with Rwanda.
The first test comes at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban against Benin when they will miss the services of France-based forward Lebo Mothiba as well as the Mamelodi Sundowns duo of Thapelo Maseko and defender Grant Kekana.
Burnley striker Lyle Foster has been excused from the camp to recover from mental health issues, leaving coach Hugo Broos to change plans upfront.
Also, with Sundowns players dominating the national side, Broos is worried they could be tired out following a crammed African Football League fixture schedule that involved a lot of travelling.
“It’s a difficult camp. When you see what Sundowns players have done in the last six weeks as well as the Pirates players,” Broos told the media.”They barely had one day of rest. It was always from one game to another. This will not be the same camp as the others.
“The most important thing for us is having [fit] players for Saturday and next Tuesday, players who are recuperated and fresh. That is the task of the technical staff. We will see what we can do at training. The intensity of the training will be very low.”
Replacing Mothiba, Maseko and Kenaka are Evidence Makgopa, Elias Mokwana and Tapelo Xoki respectively.
Team captain Ronwen Williams echoes Broos’ sentiments.
“It’s very tough playing every three or four days. You need to be mentally prepared, especially with the long travelling. We just have to make sure that we recover well. Recovery is going to be key because we played so many games.”
The Sundowns goalkeeper has shown his support for Foster who is under specialist care.
“To Lyle Foster from the team, obviously we miss him. He is in our thoughts and prayers. We just hope that everything can go well for him and he can return to do what he does best, which is playing football. He has our love and support,” Williams added.