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Blow for Bantu hitman

by Lesotho Times
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As Tsebang ‘Owen’ Lebata is ruled out of action for two seasons due to injury  

Mikia Kalati

Premier League champions, Bantu Football Club, have been dealt a devastating blow after it emerged star-striker Tsebang ‘Owen’ Lebata would be side-lined for at least two seasons due to a knee injury.

Lebata (24) was the country’s top-scorer for the 2014/15 season with 13 goals, and the Premier League’s Players’ Player of the Season, but was injured in Bantu’s last match of the campaign against Joy FC.

According to Bantu spokesperson Bokang Phasumane, a scan carried out in Bloemfontein, South Africa, had revealed Lebata would not be playing competitive football anytime soon.

“The doctors have confirmed the sad news that Tsebang will not be playing football for a very long time,” Phasumane said. “It’s a big blow for us because he was not only our top goal-scorer last season, but also the league’s top marksman and also walked away with the Players’ Player of the Season award.

“Tsebang’s goals were very instrumental in us winning the league championship for the first time last season, so his services will be solely missed for as long as he remains side-lined through this unfortunate injury.”

Phasumane further said the talented forward would soon undergo an operation on the troublesome knee.

“He has not played football since our last match of last season against Joy in May, and it was in this fixture that he suffered the injury.

“You could see he was missed in our opening match against Kick4Life last weekend, where we missed so many chances, although we eventually won 2-1.

“But he will soon be going for an operation to repair the damaged knee, and we are praying the surgery is going to be a success.”

Phasumane emphasised Bantu would support Lebata and help him in whatever way possible to ensure he regains full fitness and leads the team’s attack once again.

“What I can tell you and the nation at large, is that we will support him as a club and we have already taken him to a Bloemfontein health facility where he was scanned and will have an operation very soon.

“The doctors told us that his injury is very serious, and that he could be out for two seasons, but he will come back to play football again as age is still on his side.”

Meanwhile, Phasumane said the nasty injury had also affected the player mentally.

“This injury has affected the boy emotionally, but we are here to give him all the support he needs,” he said.

Owen, as the striker is known in football circles, has also played for Premier League sides FC Likhopo, Lesotho Correctional Service and his home-team Liphakoe.

A member of the national team, Likuena, Lebata was also the top goal-scorer for Leslie Notši’s national under-20 side, Makoanyane XI team, which qualified for the 2011 African Youth Championship.

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