Itumeleng Khune warms up during Bafana training this morning. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

POLOKWANE – Itumeleng Khune will use a facial mask in Bafana Bafana’s training session this afternoon at 4pm, coach Stuart Baxter said on Wednesday. 

The national team shot-stopper arrived in camp late on Tuesday and, for the first time since being called up for this week’s crucial 2018 World Cup qualifier against Senegal, joined his teammates at the Peter Mokaba Stadium as Baxter took them through their paces.

Khune had been delayed due to an injury sustained on Sunday afternoon while he was playing for his club Kaizer Chiefs, when he collided with Kurt Lentjies of Chippa United in the dying minutes of their Telkom Knockout quarter-final clash. 

He’s had to see at least two specialists regarding a fracture on a bone in his face, which threatened to rule him out of Friday’s match here in Polokwane.

He’s not out of the woods just yet, with Baxter saying he will put on a facial mask this afternoon to determine for sure if he would be able to use it without limiting his vision. 

“Itu has done some co-ordination work to test his vision, and this afternoon he will be getting his mask, and then we will be testing him diving to see if there’s any possibility at all (of him using it during the game),” the coach explained. 

“At the moment it’s impossible to say, because his vision is not impaired greatly. But we don’t know how the mask is going to affect that.

“And again, we don’t know how he is going to feel when he’s banging his head on the ground. We will check that this afternoon.”    

Bafana must beat Senegal here on Friday and next Tuesday in Dakar to qualify for the World Cup.

The visitors only need a point from the two games to book their ticket to Russia. 


IOL Sport