Cape Town - Kaizer Chiefs head coach Ernst Middendorp, on Wednesday confirmed that shot stopper Itumeleng Khune has been ruled out for six months after undergoing shoulder surgery.
Speaking ahead of his side's crucial Absa Premiership clash against pace-setters Bidvest Wits, Middendorp confirmed that Khune has been ruled out for an extended period.
"Itumeleng Khune underwent shoulder surgery and should return in six months. Mulomowandau Mathoho is recovering from an ankle injury.
This throws into doubt Khune's chances of representing Bafana Bafana at this year's African Cup of Nations - should they qualify - to be hosted by Egypt in June.
Middendorp though shared some positive news regarding other returning members of his playing squad.
"The good news is that 'Tower' is out of plaster, is now using a moon booth and started some physiotherapy workout. Philani Zulu is recovering from a facial fracture, but he will still be out for three weeks.
There’s a ray of light from the medical room with Ramahlwe Mphahlele recovering from a knee injury with the defender doing some light training. Joseph Molangoane, meanwhile, is recovering from an ankle injury. He’s already doing some sprinting ball-work.
"If there’s any player who struggles to be motivated to do well against the table toppers, they’ll be in the wrong job," insists Middendorp.
"This match is not about league positions. It's about playing the Wits side that’s currently on a high. We will apply all our resources to beat them. We must just convert our chances."
Kick-off is at 19:30.