Johannesburg – Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund says he is feeling well and “raring to go” after having his appendix removed at a Johannesburg hospital on Wednesday night.
The condition of South Africa's national mentor caused widespread concern in soccer circles after he was rushed to hospital earlier in the week with what he described as “severe abdominal pain”.
But Igesund said his operation had been “a complete success”. He would be released from hospital on Saturday and back on duty by Monday.
“Bafana Bafana's doctor has advised me to take it easy for a couple of days and not rush matters,” Igesund said on Thursday.
The first signs he experienced of suffering from appendicitis occured after the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) warm-up match against Kenya four months ago.
“But that was nothing like the severe pains I experienced on Monday and Tuesday,” added the Bafana coach, “and I dismissed it as no more than a routine stomach ailment.
“Then suddenly it returned with a vengeance and I realised it was something more serious.”
In a typically enthusiastic approach, Igesund said he was already planning for next month's crucial home World Cup qualifying game against the Central African Republic.
“It is obviously a must-win match for us after the two drawn games against Ethiopia and Botswana before I took over,” he said.
In this respect, Igesund was further lifted on Thursday by the news that Bafana had improved their Fifa world ranking from a disconcerting 85th position to 60th.
Bafana's ranking had nose-dived over the past year to one of its worst levels since readmission to Fifa in 1994.
But qualifying for the quarterfinals of the recent Afcon tournament enabled South Africa to soar in the global list and improve from 22nd to 10th among African countries. – Sapa