Mbulelo Mabizela's agent, Mike Makaab, said on Tuesday they have hired "OJ", a personal trainer, in what looked like a last-ditch effort to sort out a weight problem that had been threatening jeopardise Mabizela's career.

Mabizela was rejected by English Premiership side Fulham this week, after having been invited to train with them after he ended his contract with Tottenham Hotspur.

Reports suggested that Fulham coach Chris Coleman had rejected him because he was significantly overweight (about 63,5kg) for a professional footballer.

"He probably is a little overweight because he has not played competitive football for two or three weeks," Makaab said on Tuesday.

"But we have got him training with a personal trainer. When he comes to South Africa for the Nigeria game, we will sit down and talk with him."

But Mabizela's chances of playing in that match against the Super Eagles must now be slim. In fact, it is debatable whether Bafana coach Stuart Baxter will name him in his squad on Thursday.

"There is no guarantee of anything," Baxter said on Tuesday.

"I said I would consider him as long as he was in serious training (with a club), but now he is not. It might be a case of just calling him up to have a look at him."

"Fulham have rejected him, but having said that, he scored two goals against Cape Verde Islands (in June) when he was overweight. The best thing for me to do is to speak to the kid. It might be that I put him in the stands. If I do, I will need a replacement to play in defence and central midfield."

Baxter's problems have been compounded by the fact that two possible replacements, Peterborough's Mark Arber, and Livingstone's Burton O'Brien, have yet to receive Fifa clearance to play for South Africa.

"It amazes me how some guys from Ghana and the Cape Verde Islands seem to receive international clearance overnight, but we cannot get this," said Baxter of two of his World Cup 2006 Group B rivals.

Baxter said that Jeffrey Ntuka, a Chelsea-owned wing back who came on briefly in the recent friendly with Tunisia, was probably not ready for this clash.

Some youngsters who could earn a call up for the Nigeria game include Jabu Pule, who has been performing well for SV Mattersburg in Austria, and Abel Mphela, a 19-year-old from the French side, Strasbourg, who has also impressed his club.

But Mabizela's fate is a warning to youngsters of what can go wrong with an overseas move.

Mabizela's journey to England has been wracked with problems ever since he joined Tottenham Hotspur from Orlando Pirates at the beginning of last season.

He has gone from being captain of his country against the Cape Verde Islands to being on the verge of being dropped just five months later.