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Hugo Broos worried as Percy Tau ruled out injured for Bafana again

Bafana Bafana in training at Dobsonville Stadium on March 21 2022 ahead of their departure for Europe for their friendlies against Guinea and France.
Bafana Bafana in training at Dobsonville Stadium on March 21 2022 ahead of their departure for Europe for their friendlies against Guinea and France.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos is concerned star attacker Percy Tau may not be ready for the crucial 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers starting in June after the Al Ahly attacker withdrew injured from the squad to meet Guinea and France.

Broos expressed concern that Tau's injuries that also affected the ex-Mamelodi Sundowns star in last year's 2022 World Cup qualifiers might “become a bit of a problem”, and said he hopes he can train for six months without playing.

SA assembled on Sunday and leave on Monday evening to train in Paris for their friendlies against Guinea in Brussels, Belgium on Friday night, then world champions France in Lille next on March 29.

Broos was pleased that after some injury scares he was able to leave with all 23 players from his final squad named last week, except Tau, who has been replaced by Royal AM striker Victor Letsoalo.

“It's been a stressful two weeks because of injuries and visa problems,” the coach said ahead of Bafana's training session at Dobsonville Stadium on Soweto on Monday.

Thibang Phete, Brandon Petersen, and Rivaldo Coetzee were among players who withdrew from Broos’ proposed initial 32-man preliminary squad. Orlando Pirates star Thabang Monare came into camp with an injury, and seems doubtful for the Guinea game, but may be available for the France encounter.

“I was panicked a bit because these two friendly games are very important for me, and for the players,” Broos said.

“ I was very happy yesterday [Sunday] after the screening by the doctor that I have the 23 players I wanted from the beginning, except Percy.

“He's injured again. It's becoming a little problem with Percy. Since I've been here, he had his problems with his transfer to Al Ahly [from Brighton] so he wasn't ready for the two [World Cup qualifying] games [against Zimbabwe and Ghana, where Tau played not entirely fit].

“He went to Al Ahly and then he was injured for the two games against Ethiopia. Because of that injury in the two last games against Ghana and Zimbabwe he was not 100%.

“Now he's injured again. I hope one day it will stop with him. He's a very important player for us.

“But I'm also a bit afraid if that goes on we will have problem with Percy for June. Again he will be out for weeks with a knee problem, so that is not a good thing for us.”

Sundowns players Mothobi Mvala and Khuliso Mudau have recovered from injuries.

Broos said Tau's on-and-off injuries — he returned from a lengthy layoff for Ahly last month — are a concern.

“Percy has been injured — and I'm exaggerating now — for the last eight months,” the coach said.

“It's not a surprise. In June with the transfer [from Brighton] to Al Ahly he didn't train and play so much. Then he played two tough games against Zimbabwe and Ghana with an injury.

“Then he started with Al Ahly, playing and then an injury. I think for Percy it would be good if he trains for six months and doesn't play. His basic physical health is not good.

“I think every time he plays he's overloaded and he gets injuries. You see it with Sundowns' players, they are overloaded [with matches due to competing in the Caf Champions League].

“Percy is playing too many games and doesn't have the physical standing to do that, and he's falling from injury to injury.”

Guinea, unlike SA, participated at the Covid-19-delayed 2021 Nations Cup in Cameroon in January and February, exiting 1-0 in the last-16 against Gambia.


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