Cape Town - Mamelodi Sundowns captain Ramahlwe Mphahlele has been ruled out for between six and eight weeks with an ankle injury.
Mphahlele went down in the 78th minute of Sundowns' 0-0 draw against Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday and needed to be substituted.
KickOff is reporting he has subsequently been diagnosed with a grade-3 tear to the ligament in his left ankle.
'Downs head coach Pitso Mosimane revealed after the game that his skipper had been in so much pain he had tears in his eyes as he was rushed to hospital.
The only slight piece of good news is that no surgery will be required but Mphahlele is still expected to spend up to two months on the sidelines to recover and rehabilitate the injury.
The weekend's result saw the Brazilians lose top spot in the Absa Premiership to Bidvest Wits and Mphahlele has been a key component in helping his team move into contention for the title this season.
The defender has led the backline that has only conceded eight goals in 13 league games this season, which is the best record in the PSL by two strikes.
Sundowns welcome the struggling University of Pretoria to the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday, January 16 and will be looking for an effective way to reorganise their defence to account for the absence of their captain.