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Injury woes for Likuena

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Moorosi Tsiane

LIKUENA coach Thabo Senong is worried that injuries suffered by several of his key players ahead of his team’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers against Sierra Leone and Nigeria this month.

Senong’s charges will take on Sierra Leone at Setsoto Stadium next Saturday and will travel to Nigeria five days later to take on the Super Eagles.

Likuena started preparing for the qualifiers last month with players registering for camp.

The side played it first practice match against Free State Stars last Friday losing 1-0.

Senong is expected to announce his final squad for the two ties next Monday after their second practice match in Johannesburg against a yet to be named DStv Premiership team.

He however, said he was worried that his team has been hit by injury woes.

Bloemfontein Celtic striker Motebang Sera has been out with a hamstring injury and only started training last week. Black Leopards midfielder Tumelo Khutlang was also not part of the team which lost to TTM in the Nedbank Cup quarter finals on Saturday.

Another striker, Morapeli Lesoetsa, has been ruled out of the team after suffering from an achilles tendon injury.

The duo of Jane Thabantšo and Thabang Malane has also been nursing minor injuries but re-joined the rest of the squad in training on Monday.

“We have played one practice match and we are hoping to play another either on Thursday or Friday in Johannesburg,” Senong said this week.

“We would have loved to play many but the logistics are not allowing it.

“In terms of fitness, we are improving and I hope last Friday’s friendly will help continue improving. We are solid in defence and can build from there.

“The challenge is in the final third. But our strikers are outside the country, so we hope that will be covered when they arrive next week.

“We are just worried that Sera and others are nursing injuries. However, there is hope that he has started training. I hope he get M this week so that when he joins us next week, he will be in shape.”

Senong said foreign-based players are all expected in camp next Monday.

“We are making the final selection after the next practice match and on Monday the foreign based players will them join the rest of the team.

“The two ties against Sierra Leon and Nigeria are demanding hence we need a big pool to choose from. Instead of the usual 19, I am hoping to have between 22 and 25 players in the final team,” Senong said.

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