SuperSport United striker Bradley Grobler will miss Friday’s Afcon 2021 qualifier against Sao Tome e Principe, according to national coach Molefi Ntseki.
The 32-year-old was one of the players named in the squad that will play two matches against the islanders during the upcoming Fifa international break.
He, however, will not take part in the fixtures as he became the latest player withdrawn from the squad.
Speaking to Robert Marawa on MetroFM, Ntseki revealed that the striker was sent for scans on Monday.
“The scan results came back differently and we have lost Grobler in the team,” he said.
“The reason that all this is happening is because of COVID-19. Players started playing not at their best in terms of fitness levels. The games are becoming faster and physical and you have players mentally and emotionally getting involved in matches to win. We will see a lot of muscle problems because players did not have a proper pre-season to prepare themselves to go into the new season.”
Bafana forced to make changes
Grobler’s injury came on the same day the national selectors had called up five players to replace those who had to be withdrawn from the squad for “medical reasons”.
The new arrivals are Vincent Pule, Thapelo Morena, Diamond Thopola, Tshepo Rikhotso and Mosa Lebusa, who joined the camp in place of Thulani Serero, Thibang Phete, Reeve Frosler, Andile Jali, Abubakar Mobara and Thamsanqa Mkhize.
AmaZulu midfielder Siyethemba Sithebe has been called up to replace Grobler in the squad, leaving Thabiso Kutumela and Kermit Erasmus as the only out-and-out strikers.
Bafana play Sao Tome e Principe on Friday at 21:00 (SAST), before taking them on once more on Monday.
Revised Bafana squad
- Goalkeepers: Darren Keet (Oud-Heverlee Leuven FC), Ronwen William (Supersport United), Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs FC)
- Defenders: Thapelo Morena, Motjeka Madisha ( both Mamelodi Sundowns), Thulani Hlatshwayo (Orlando Pirates), Mosa Lebusa, Lyle Lakay ( both Mamelodi Sundowns), Innocent Maela (Orlando Pirates), Tshepo Rikhotso (Bloemfontein Celtic), Rushine de Reuck (Maritzburg United)
- Midfielders: Thabo Nodada (Cape Town City), Themba Zwane (Mamelodi Sundowns), Vincent Pule (Orlando Pirates), Teboho Mokoena (SuperSport United), Bongani Zungu (Rangers), Keagan Dolly (Montpellier), Percy Tau (Anderlecht), Lebohang Manyama (Kaizer Chiefs), Kamohelo Mokotjo (FC Cincinnati), Luther Singh (Sporting Braga), Dean Furman (Carlisle United)
- Strikers: Kermit Erasmus (Mamelodi Sundowns), Thabiso Kutumela (Maritzburg United)