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Middendorp wary of Khune and Billiat’s injuries

Kaizer Chiefs and Zimbabwean international attacker Khama Billiat on Friday started the medical treatment on his tight hamstring as the club is trying to get him ready for the grueling six months of top level football ahead.

Billiat missed the 2-1 loss to Maritzburg United in the Telkom Knockout semi-final last weekend and retired early during the 4-0 win over Stellenbosch FC in the Absa Premiership on Wednesday evening.

The hamstring injury has been giving him some problems, leading to his coach Ernst Middendorp complaining about the overloading and lack of treatment by the Zim Warriors medical team.

He played two games against Botswana and Zambia and scored a brace in Lusaka during the AFCON qualifiers this month. Middendorp explains his concerns around Billiat’s injuries.

The Amakhosi fans have also been waiting with a bated breath for the return of skillful youngster Nkosingiphile Ngcobo who has been sidelined by an injury for the past eight months.

He’s back in action now but playing in the reserve league and Middendorp says he should be ready for action in the PSL in a month or two.

When South African U23 international defender Siyabonga Ngezana scored the opening goal against Stellies last Wednesday, he took off his jersey in excitement and was reprimanded by the senior players Willard Katsande and Bernard Parker.

But the German born mentor says he understands the excitement the youngster was going through.

Leading to their loss against Maritzburg United in the Telkom Knockout, Middendorp had declared the club’s injury prone captain Itumeleng Khune not ready for action as he was still in the rehabilitation phase.

But a day later, the club released a statement that Khune had fully recovered from the injury and this appeared to be contradicting the German born mentor.

But Middendorp has since maintained that this doesn’t mean the Khune is 100% ready for competitive game time.

When the PSL reserve league was introduced, clubs would play their U23 players but also used it to give game time to players who were recovering from injuries or struggling with form.

But since its been turned into an U21 league, there’s no platform anymore for senior players recovering from injuries to rediscover their form and sharpen their fitness levels.

And this appears to be a serious concern to the reigning Absa Premiership coach of the month and some of his colleagues. – Report by Velile Mnyandu

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