Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter has revealed they will be without left-back Sifiso Hlanti in Saturday’s Soweto Derby confrontation against Orlando Pirates at FNB Stadium.
Hlanti injured his Achillies tendon during training on Thursday and will not participate in the first league clash of the season between the two South African football giants.
“In training, Sifiso Hlanti tore his Achilles tendon today so that’s another one on our list,” Baxter told the media on Thursday.
“So he’s going to be out for probably a good few months. I think everybody has injuries and we both got our injury list, and you can wish that he would be back and we can have a full squad to select from, but that’s not how it is.
“Everybody we have been working with has been doing a great job and really working hard. When the derby comes, that little more of adrenalin kicks in.”
Hlanti is back on the sidelines after having played two games since his return from suspension following his red card against Marumo Gallants in September.
That saw him missing the trip to AmaZulu and the 4-0 home win over Chippa United.
In his absence, Baxter has options to pick Reeve Frosler, Sibusiso Mabiliso or Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya.
Frosler stood in for Hlanti when the veteran defender was out suspended in October while Mabiliso has made three league appearances this season and Ntiya-Ntiya is yet to feature in any match this term.
Experienced left-back Hlanti joins a growing list of injured Chiefs players.
He becomes the latest fitness concern after attacking midfielder Leboogang Manyama who was also recently injured in training.
Striker Samir Nurkovic underwent surgery on his knee at the end of September and is now recovering in his home country Serbia where he is also attending to a personal issue.
Another forward Leonardo Castro is also busy trying to regain fitness after surgery, just like Nurkovic.
Defender Siyabonga Ngezana is not expected to be back this year but Dumisani Zuma is edging closer to fitness as he has been participating in full training for the past few weeks.