Cape Town - Orlando Pirates captain Oupa Manyisa is close to returning to first-team football after a frustrating six months on the sidelines.
The midfielder suffered a fractured ankle in the goalless draw with Polokwane City in September last year and his absence has been evident as the Buccaneers have struggled to find consistency in the Premiership this season.
In an interview with Pirates TV the club's rehab specialist, Stephen Plummer, revealed he is pleased with Manyisa's current condition and tipped him to make a return imminently.
"Manyisa has been through a lengthy process so far, but is doing really well and is actually ahead of schedule with his rehab," Plummer said.
"He’s a really hard worker and puts in a lot of effort.
"If everything goes according to plan, we expect him to be ready by the end of February/ beginning of March where he'll then be able to join training with the team."
The South Africa international admitted his spell away from the pitch has been frustrating and it's the longest he's been away from football because of injury.
"Since playing professional football, this is the first injury that has kept me out for this long, but I've had friends and family supporting me, so it hasn't been too difficult," Manyisa said.
"I've been doing rehab, and I'm feeling much stronger now because as I can do some of the things I couldn't do before. Soon I'll be back."