Cape Town - SuperSport United midfielder Thuso Phala is in a race against time to recover from flu for Bafana Bafana’s 2017 AFCON qualifier against Gambia.
The news is a big blow to coach Shakes Mashaba, who is already without Tefu Mashamaite (family reasons), Dean Furman (knee), Sibusiso Vilakazi (ankle) and Mzikayise Mashaba (shoulder) for the group M opener.
Defenders Tshepo Gumede and Ntsikelelo Nyauza (both Pirates), Siphelele Ntshangase (Black Leopards) and Jabulani Shongwe (Wits) have been called up as replacements.
"We left him in the hotel and he got flu and that is the only player that has a bout of flu," Mashaba told KickOff.
"And the doctor said let's give him the morning off and we will check if he will be ready for this afternoon's training session.
"It means now we have got to call on a new player to go and perform the responsibilities. It is only for the player to respond to that but it is not a guarantee.
Kick-off is at 15:00.