Brilliant Khuzwayo could return from injury in late October. Photo: Twitter/ @OrlandoPirates

DURBAN - Brilliant Khuzwayo is yet to make his debut for Orlando Pirates because of an injury and Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic doesn’t want to rush him back into action.

Siyabonga Mpontshane has been commanding the starting berth for the Buccaneers between the sticks so far this season. Mpontshane was replaced by Jackson Mabokgwane this past weekend against AmaZulu at King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi after sustaining an injury before the league game.

Khuzwayo left Kaizer Chiefs having played second fiddle to Itumeleng Khune for much of his time with Amakhosi. Sredojevic can’t wait to have Khuzwayo back but won’t be rushing him back into action.

“I’m very happy to coach this group of players. Brilliant Khuzwayo is a top class personality. Even outside the field of play (he is a top class personality), any coach will be happy to have such a positive person in the team. He set the tone in the team and move the mood into the right direction," Sredojevic said.

Khuzwayo has an opportunity to make his debut against his former team on October 27. Pirates will face their arch-rivals, Amakhosi, in the Soweto Derby. Before that game they will welcome Chippa United in the last 16 of the Telkom Knockout at Orlando Stadium in Soweto.

“I will say that he is working very hard. As to how far, we should not rush (him). With the injury that he sustained, I believe he has worked very hard (to be where he is now). He is on the good road to recovery. The goalkeeper coach, medical team and the technical team will make the decision as to when can we utilise him the best possible way," Sredojevic explained.

Pirates have struggled to find a permanent replacement for the late Senzo Meyiwa. They tried various options without success. The list of goalkeepers who failed to make the grade at Pirates includes Philani Zikalala, Fatau Dauda, Felipe Ovono, Wayne Sandilands and Brighton Mhlongo. Meyiwa died in 2014. Mpontshane also didn’t enjoy the best of starts at Pirates but is slowly settling in. Khuzwayo was seen as the missing puzzle in defence for the Buccaneers.

The Star

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