Bafana Bafana forward Percy Tau’s participation in Sunday’s Nelson Mandela Challenge clash against Mali in Port Elizabeth is hanging in the balance after he suffered an injury while playing for his Belgian team Club Brugge on Sunday.
Bafana supporters are no doubt looking forward to seeing the former Mamelodi Sundowns attacker back in action in South Africa after his star performance in a 2-2 draw against Real Madrid in a UEFA Champions League match last week.
However, Tau suffered a knock to his ankle while helping to set up Brugge’s second goal in a 4-0 win over Gent on the weekend, a result which enabled his team to open up a three-point lead at the top of the league standings.
The 25-year-old remained on the field for another 13 minutes before succumbing to the injury and being substituted – suggesting it’s not an overly serious issue.
National team doctor Thulani Ngwenya has also said that there has been no communication received from Brugge regarding the injury, with the player expected to arrive in South Africa on Tuesday morning.
However, with Tau’s increasing importance to his club side, and with a massive Champions League encounter coming up against PSG in two weeks’ time, it would be unsurprising if he does not feature for the full 90 minutes against Mali at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
Tau is not the only injury concern – Brandon Petersen and Thamsanqa Mhkhize have already pulled out of the squad and have been replaced by Tshepo Rikhotso and Ricardo Goss.
Themba Zwane, Erick Mathoho, Ronwen Williams, Bongani Zungu and Dean Furman also have injury concerns, according to Ngwenya.
Sunday’s game will be a first in charge for Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki after both Zambia and Madagascar pulled out of friendly matches last month in protest at the xenophobic violence in South Africa.
Following the match against Mali, it’s just under one month before South Africa begin their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying campaign, with their opening fixture away in Ghana on November 11.
Also in Group C are Sudan and one of Mauritius or Sao Tomé e Principe.
In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo