DURBAN – Bafana Bafana's camp started in disastrous fashion as three key players pulled out of the squad due to injury.
Bafana face Libya at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in a crucial 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Saturday.
The two teams will be battling it out for top spot in Group E, having opened their accounts with victories in their opening fixtures.
Bafana got off to a flying start as they achieved a historic victory over Nigeria away, beating them 2-0 in Uyo, while Libya thumped the Seychelles 5-1 in Cairo in June last year.
Baxter and his technical team were dealt a major blow as the in-form Themba Zwane, experienced Hlompo Kekana and Bongani Zungu all suffered injuries this past weekend for their respective clubs.
Baxter has roped in Aubrey Modiba (SuperSport United), Vincent Pule (Orlando Pirates) and Tiyani Mabunda (Mamelodi Sundowns) to replace the injured trio.
“We didn’t have a good day yesterday in terms of players being injured at the last moment. I got a text from the sporting director at Amiens yesterday (Sunday), saying that he was watching the game and Bongani Zungu twisted his knee. It looks like he has ligament damage. That was not a good one,” Baxter said yesterday afternoon.
Bafana camps have always been flooded with challenges.
“I was watching the game between Sundowns and Cape Town City, I saw Themba Zwane going down with a dislocated toe. I was told by the doctor that it can go again and the risk is high, and therefore he has returned home. Hlompo Kekana has got a massive haematoma on his thigh. He can’t even drive his car. He is also out,” Baxter added.
Lebogang Mothiba is also doubtful, but Baxter has threatened to take his club Strasbourg to Fifa.
The embattled Bafana coach accused the French side of playing hide and seek regarding Mothiba’s situation.
Mothiba didn’t show up as his team stated that he is injured.
The striker was supposed to join up with his Bafana teammates yesterday in Johannesburg and travel together with the team to Durban.
Baxter deemed Strasbourg’s antics as amateurish.
“I’m just waiting (for) a medical report from France on Lebo Mothiba who they say - we haven’t seen the scan - has got a hamstring strain which is 10 to 17 days to repair. We got an email from the club secretary saying that he has a physical problem. We tried to contact the doctor late last night at about 11.30pm.
I got a knock from my doctor saying that they have sent an email saying that he has gone for a scan,” a frustrated Baxter said.
Kamohelo Mokotjo was expected to join the team late last night from Brentford in England.
Baxter was livid with the behaviour of Strasbourg. “The doctor got an email when we landed in Durban that he has a hamstring injury. I said to the doctor given the way that this has gone down, I want a scan and the picture. I want the actual picture of a scan that you can look at and say 'coach that is not bad let him come and we will assess him' or say 'coach, forget about this one you can call someone up',” he said.
“Until we’ve got that scan, the way that this has gone down, it has been total amateurish. I will have to make decisions whether I recommend to take them to Fifa and report them for being unfair.”@Minenhlecr7