Benni, Nasief injured
Johannesburg - Bafana Bafana received a double blow on Monday as they prepared for their Nelson Mandela Challenge against Norway at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Saturday.
Leading goal scorer and key striker Benni McCarthy, injured his hamstring playing for his English Premiership club Blackburn Rovers on Saturday in a 1-1- draw, while Spanish-based central defender Nasief Morris, is suffering from a knock picked up last week.
This was revealed on Monday by Bafana team manager Sipho Nkumane, who said McCarthy may not travel to Johannesburg, while he is hoping Morris, who plays for Recreativo Huelva, is expected to arrive in Johannesburg later on Monday when the squad assemble.
After Norway Bafana will play Portugal in Switzerland next Tuesday, after which head coach Joel Santana, is expected to finalise his squad for June’s Confederations Cup.
Nkumane indicated McCarthy’s injury may be serious enough to rule him out of the Norway clash as well. Said the Bafana manager: “McCarthy is very doubtful at this stage. The Blackburn Rovers doctors are assessing him, but it does not look good at this stage. But we are keeping our fingers crossed he will be able to travel later this week.”
Bafana, however, have already placed Orlando Pirates' in-form striker, Katlego Mashego, on standby which indicates the Bafana technical team are not confident McCarthy will be fit to play against Norway.
McCarthy has scored 31 goals and has played 76 times for Bafana. Morris has 37 caps.
Nkumane said no replacement had been called up for Morris. “Morris is expected in camp and our doctors will assess his injury when he arrives.”
The team will have a light training session in the gym on Monday afternoon and Santana will get down to work on Tuesday afternoon with his first full training session.