Cape Town - Cape Town City head coach Benni McCarthy admitted the absence of Teko Modise was felt but he was nonetheless pleased with the 1-0 victory over Polokwane City on Saturday.
The Citizens secured their way into the next round of the MTN8 after an own goal from Rise and Shine separated the two sides at Cape Town Stadium.
A big talking point during the encounter was the surprise omission of Modise, who was initially named in the starting XI - alongside Roland Putsche.
Nonetheless, Thabo Nodada who stepped in to fill the boots of the veteran impressed McCarthy but the manager noted the key differences between the central midfielders.
"In training (on Friday) already his groin area started tensioning and pulling up, and he was feeling a bit of stiffness," he said about Modise after the game.
"With Teko being out of the team, we had to change the strategy a little bit so we brought in Nodada who is more high pressing and energy, but he is not as comfortable on the ball as Teko.
"With this one, okay it was an important game, it's a cup but I rather have Teko available for the rest of the season than forcing him to play (against Polokwane) and we get a good result, but he's missing a quarter of the season.
"I'm not to sure if he will be back for the Wits game, but most definitely for Platinum Stars, Chiefs, Pirates. Those are the games we look to have Teko back because obviously for us to do well in those games, we need our general."
Meanwhile, City will begin there Premiership campaign on Friday evening away to current champions Bidvest Wits.
Kick off is at 20:00.