Cape Town - Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic says Thembinkosi Lorch and Augustine Mulenga were left out of Saturday's 0-0 draw with African Stars due to fatigue and sickness.
The Sea Robbers were unable to score against the Namibian minnows in a CAF Champions League First Round first leg clash at Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg this past weekend.
The second leg is set to take place this coming Saturday at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek (16:00), with Bucs feeling the pressure of not being upset by the unheralded Southern African club.
Other players to be rested included Musa Nyatama and Xola Mlambo though 'Micho' believes that erring on the side of caution was absolutely necessary.
He said: "There are two aspects: virus and in the same moment exhaustion from the point of the players because some players had [played on] Saturday and Tuesday, including Lorch and Mulenga.
"They have been on the brink of breaking in a way that we are pushing them away to the injury level.
"So ethically, we were looking to take care of that aspect and it was not meant to be. We have planned and wanted, however, it did not happen.
"Now we cannot cry for the milk we have poured down, we need to produce and work hard in a match away and provide the best possible version of Orlando Pirates.
"It was very hard to follow them because we had no chance to see them. However, we had our people going away. We had so many aspects of information, and what was provided was enough.
"Exactly what we expected is what we got from this opponent."