After a disastrous Cosafa Cup result for a young Bafana Bafana squad, the ‘first team’ were dealt a serious blow on Monday as Keagan Dolly was ruled out of the Africa Cup of Nations.
Dolly was set to feature for the South African side in their 5-4 penalty shoot-out defeat to Botswana in Durban on Sunday, but had to withdraw on Friday due to a groin injury picked up in training.
It was hoped that the Montpellier attacker would be passed fit for Afcon, but the bad news came through on Monday that he won’t be ready.
The SA Football Association said in a statement that team doctor Thulani Ngwenya had made it official, following MRI scans, which showed that Dolly had aggravated a “niggling groin injury”.
Ngwenya added that there was “no chance” of the former Sundowns star being ready in time for Afcon, where Bafana will play their first match against Ivory Coast on 24 June in Cairo (4.30pm).
This is the latest injury setback for Dolly, who has endured a nightmare eight months or so, in which he broke his leg, sustained a hamstring strain and now a groin problem.
Coach Stuart Baxter has not yet named a replacement for Dolly, with the now 29-man training squad set to be cut to 23 by 11 June.
The Safa website stated that almost all of the players reported for duty at the training camp on Monday at the Steyn City School in Johannesburg.
Baxter and assistant coaches Molefi Ntseki and Andre Arendse took the group through a training session in hot conditions, while player liaison Mark Fish was also in attendance.
Apart from the Ivorians, Bafana will also face Namibia on 28 June and Morocco on 1 July.
It's all systems go as Bafana Bafana training go full steam at Steyn City School in Fourways pic.twitter.com/LdumMeS9Sg— Bafana Bafana (@BafanaBafana) June 3, 2019