Olympic long jump silver medallist Khotso Mokoena could be watching from the sidelines as he is facing a race against time to recover from injury.

South Africa's small athletics contingent for the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India has taken some serious knocks, with world 800m champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi having withdrawn and Caster Semenya in doubt.

Olympic long jump silver medallist Khotso Mokoena could also be watching from the sidelines as he and Semenya, the women's world 800m champion, face a race against time to recover from injuries ahead of the quadrennial multi-sport event which starts on Sunday.

Semenya's coach, Michael Seme, confirmed reports that they would seek medical advice on a niggling back injury before deciding if she was fit enough to compete at the Games.

“Her back has been troubling her in training, but we don't know how serious it is,” Seme said on Monday.

“She will see a doctor today or tomorrow, and based on what he tells us we will decide whether or not she will compete.”

And while Mulaudzi was unavailable for comment, his wife, Pondani, confirmed reports that he had already withdrawn.

“He is not going to run in India,” she said on Monday afternoon.

With only 11 athletes included in South Africa's athletics team, hopes for a respectable medal haul have dwindled significantly on the eve of the Games.

And while a host of athletes from other nations have also withdrawn from Semenya's and Mokoena's events, if either of them are not fully fit, there is enough quality competition to keep them off their respective podiums. - Sapa