Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer is in a frenzy of delight as he has a partially fit Thembinkosi Lorch back at his disposal.
This comes after the star winger made his long-awaited return from injury against Moroccan giants Raja Casablanca in a Caf Confederation Cup quarterfinal first leg encounter at Orlando Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Lorch has been on the sidelines with an abductor strain injury since limping off in the 28th minute of Pirates’ 1-1 DStv Premiership draw against SuperSport United in February.
“We are happy Lorch is back, he was out for a very long time,” said the German coach amid reports in the media linking the Bafana Bafana international with a move away from the Soweto giants.
The attacker’s 2020/21 season has been disrupted by a series of minor injuries with 19 appearances, four goals, and four assists under his belt in all competitions.
Pirates coach Zinnbauer cut a dejected figure a few weeks ago when he declared: “I don’t know when Lorch will return. We hope that we’ll get him back soon.”
But he is now pleased to see one of his key players back in action.
“Let’s see what will happen going forward, how he feels, and then we will prepare for the next game. I cannot say now if he will be in the starting line-up in our next game or he will be on the bench, but it is important for us that he is available, it is good for us,” added Zinnbauer.
The Pirates coach understands his troops will have their work cut out ahead of them going into the second leg which will take place at the Stade Mohammed V Stadium in Morocco on Sunday after being held to a potentially costly draw in Soweto.
“The target is to go forward, reach the semifinal, they have quality players, but we also have quality. It’s a big game on Sunday and we are going to Casablanca for a good result, not to lose,” concluded Zinnbauer.
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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi