Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has been saddled with further problems on the eve of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Seychelles.
Baxter has had to withdraw Mamelodi Sundowns defender Thapelo Morena and Orlando Pirates midfielder Vincent Pule on Tuesday morning.
Morena sustained a hamstring injury during the warm-up ahead of Sundowns’ 1-1 draw with Wits on Sunday, while Pule didn’t feature for Pirates in their 1-1 stalemate against AmaZulu on Saturday.
Both players went for scans since joining the Bafana camp, and the bad news came through on Tuesday morning.
But their departure has resulted in a welcome opportunity for hard-tackling Cape Town City captain Thamsanqa Mkhize, who has two previous Bafana caps.
City coach Benni McCarthy has been a long-time admirer of his club captain, and now Mkhize will hope to prove his worth on the international stage.
Lorch has scored some crucial goals for Pirates over the years, but has yet to represent the national team.
Baxter is still awaiting the arrival of forwards Percy Tau and Dino Ndlovu in camp for Saturday’s first match against the Seychelles at the FNB Stadium (3pm kickoff), with both players having turned out for their overseas clubs on Sunday.
Bafana began their on-field preparations at Steyn City School in Johannesburg on Monday.
Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has called up CT City defender Thamsanqa Mkhize & Thembinkosi Lorch (Orlando Pirates).— Bafana Bafana (@BafanaBafana) October 9, 2018
They replace injured duo of Thapelo Morena (Mamelodi Sundowns) & Vincent Pule (Orlando Pirates) who were released yesterday.
Revised Bafana Bafana Squad
Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune, Ronwen Williams, Darren Keet.
Defenders: Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Motjeka Madisha, Thamsanqa Mkhize, Siyanda Xulu, Innocent Maela, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Sfiso Hlanti, Buhle Mkhwanazi.
Midfielders: Aubrey Modiba, Dean Furman, Teboho Mokoena, Hlompho Kekana, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Lebogang Maboe, Thabo Nodada, Kamohelo Mokotjo, Thembinkosi Lorch.
Strikers: Lebogang Phiri, Dino Ndlovu, Percy Tau, Lebo Mothiba, Phakamani Mahlambi.@ashfakmohamed