Johannesburg - Bafana Bafana head coach, Shakes Mashaba, has wished Patrick Phungwayo a speedy recovery after the defender was ruled out of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.
According to the soccerladuma website, the Orlando Pirates fullback had to be withdrawn from the squad after an MRI scan revealed he's recovery from a knee injury was taking slow and 'Shakes' believes they had to let him go.
“We have no option but to send him home so he can begin with rehabilitation and we can welcome the new player in. We would have loved to be with him to play in the tournament, but because of the injury we can’t. But going back will also help him to recover speedily. It is not a nice thing to happen to anyone when we are so close to the start of the tournament," Mashaba said in statement released by SAFA. Meanwhile, Phungwayo believes that the injury is not the end of the world and says the future is bright.
“We really valued his contribution in the team hence we delayed in making this announcement, hoping he will recover but we found we have no option. We can only wish him a speedy recovery so he can be back with us in the near future. We are hurt to lose him, all the best."
“I would really like to say thank you very much for the opportunity I got of being part of this team, it was a privilege and honour to be here knowing very well that I was not around for the qualifiers, but because the coach gave us all a belief that if you perform well you will get a chance and that is what happened," said Phungwayo.
“As for the injury, these things happen in football and I understand; everything happens for a reason. There are always greater plans for me coming up, this is not the end of the world and I believe the future looks bright. And I would like to take this opportunity to wish the team all the best in the tournament.”