Football is a game of uncertainties with injury a big stumbling block in the progress of many players.
South African midfielder Sphephelo Sithole has been hit with this unfortunate uncertainty after he got injured in SAD Belenenses’s last pre-season game preparing for the 2020/21 season.
‘Yaya’ was on course for a good start to the 2020/21 season with coach Emmanuel Petit having already told the midfielder he would start the opening game of the campaign and started him in the pre-season game against his former club Sporting Lisbon only for the KZN Academy graduate to get a terrible hamstring injury that has taken him out of action for a month.
“I was very disappointed to get that injury, so I was chasing the ball trying to intercept the opposition striker who was attacking then I pulled my hamstring I felt it immediately and had to be substituted from the game,” explained Sithole.
“It was sad because I was doing well in pre-season and the coach had spoken to me about starting in the upcoming league games you know, but the season is long I will definitely bounce back.”
Sithole has been working hard to rehabilitate his hamstring while keeping focussed on returning to the team as soon as possible.
“I’m out until mid-October now because I’ve gone through the first two weeks smoothly up until now so soon I will be back,” added Sithole.
“Two games have been played so far in the league we won against Guimaraes and lost against Famalicao so with the international break coming up I will probably miss the first game after the break, but should be back for the following game which is good. I will be back training with the team when the international break is over,” he concluded.
Sithole made his first-ever senior debut for SAD Belenenses towards the end of last season
He is just one of a few promising SA young players going through the ranks of clubs in Europe with striker Lyle Foster at Vitoria Guimaraes, winger Luther Singh at Pacos de Ferreira and duo Kobamelo Kodisang and Genino Palace at SC Braga.
The growing injury list of South African players has also expanded with Lebo Mothiba and Lebogang Phiri already side-lined from action until early 2021 after undergoing some serious operations to their knees in France.
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By Prince Sobayeni