Bucs star injured ahead of derby

Orlando Pirates could be forced to face arch enemies Kaizer Chiefs in the Absa Premiership Soweto Derby at the Mmabatho Stadium on Saturday afternoon without their midfield talisman, Teko Modise.

The Bafana Bafana playmaker faces a late fitness test on an injured toe he sustained in last Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat against Platinum Stars at the Johannesburg Stadium.

The injury was confirmed on Wednesday by a worried sounding Bucs spokesperson, Mickey Modisane.

Said Modisane: ”Modise has been feeling the pain this week. We will simply have to wait and see if he recovers in time to play against Chiefs.”

The Buccaneers coach Owen da Gama will be keeping his fingers crossed the diminutive but influential star will be fit to play against the old enemy in Mmabatho.

Modise is not the only player on the sidelines. Bucs are still without defenders Lucky Lekgwathi, Kelebongile Mabe and midfielder Lindokuhle Mkhwanazi.

Bucs appear to be ending the season the way the started it — losing. Their loss to Stars meant they slipped out of the top eight and are now in 11th position on 36 points with three matches to play. Amakhosi have a point more, but like their Soweto rivals, are having a season they would rather forget.

Bucs were at the bottom of the table before da Gama took charge in October. They looked to be on the mend under Da Gama, but the highly rated coach has had his problems to contend with in his short tenure at Bucs. One of his major problems is the large squad he inherited and one that management seem reluctant to trim.

But it will be war as usual when the two Premier Soccer League giants square up to each other in what should attract a sell-out crowd in the North West city, despite the fact both teams are struggling to qualify for the top eight.

Said Modisane; ”It has been terrible the way our form has slumped. But we are appealing to our fans to rally around one more time. Everybody knows Soweto derbies are special and we are determined to finish our last three matches on a winning note. It won’t be easy but the players and coach are determined.”

Bucs’ slump is due in part to the fact their two top strikers, Excellent Walaza and veteran Zimbabwean Gilbert Mushangazhike, have been shooting blanks.

Said Modisane: ”We are playing well but unfortunately our strikers have been off the boil.” – Sapa

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