Cape Town - Free State Stars goalkeeper Daouda Diakite admitted he was not completely comfortable when he returned to the Charles Mopeli Stadium for the match against Mamelodi Sundowns last Saturday.
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Diakite did not start that game but took part in the warm-up session, which is what sparked a series of flashbacks from the injury he sustained at the same ground, against Kaizer Chiefs, at the start of the current campaign.
Diakite was sidelined from football for the greater part of seven months after breaking his leg in the season opener against Chiefs, and overcoming the mental obstacles will play as big a part in his recovery as healing.
"I am thrilled to be back in the team again after a long layoff, but I am not particularly happy with the fact that we lost on the day," Diakite told the club’s website.
"To be honest, my body cringed when I stepped on the pitch for warm-up, it really brought back bad memories of the injury but my goalkeeper coach told me to calm down and forget about the incident," added Diakite.
Once Free State Stars are done with their fixture against Moroka Swallows this week, they will have a short break before they play their next clash against AmaZulu in Durban. Diakite thinks that will provide ample opportunity for him to fully prepare for a return to the fray.
"I am not fully fit but I am getting there, I am working very hard at training and I am adamant that after the Swallows match I will start training with the other goalkeepers," said Diakite.
"It will not be easy breaking into the first eleven with keeper Johnny doing well at the moment and there are also other good keepers in Glenn Verbauwhede and Ayanda Mtshali to compete with," concluded Diakite.