The Citizen (Gauteng)

Sundowns sweating on Zwane’s fitness

- Ntokozo Gumede

Mamelodi Sundowns talisman Themba “Mshishi” Zwane (right) is facing a race against time to make it back to full fitness after he missed Sundowns’ DStv Premiershi­p win against TS Galaxy on Sunday afternoon.

Zwane picked up the knock about a week ago, when Masandawan­a beat Maritzburg United, coming off in the 10th minute, and this sparked concerns going into the much-anticipate­d tie with Al-Ahly.

The Brazilians have been paired with the Egyptian giants in the quarterfin­als of the Caf Champions League, with the first-leg taking place in Egypt on Saturday.

Downs co-head coach, Manqoba Mngqithi says there is some hope that “Mshishi” might recover in time to face former Sundowns head coach Pitso Mosimane.

“We are hopeful with the doctors and it looks like he will be able to play in the next match in Egypt…we are hopeful that everything goes according to plan. It never really looked serious, we had to be a little bit cautious to make sure that we didn’t aggravate it and that is why we pulled him off early against Maritzburg (in the Premiershi­p in midweek),” said Mngqithi.

“It was never a tear but it was a strain that could have easily resulted in a tear had he continued with the match and that the doctors said within a week to 10 days he would be able to come back and help. So, we had enough days before our next game,” he added.

Zwane has been a key figure in Masandawan­a’s bid for the DStv Premiershi­p and Champions League, having scored nine goals in the domestic league.

He has helped Downs to an impressive season – they are odds-on favourites to lift a fourth successive league title – while he has contribute­d two goals and two assists in the Champions League.

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