Friday, June 25, 2021

Doubt looms over Ditlhokwe’s participation in Zambia encounter

There is serious doubt regarding Zebras and Supersport United defender Thatayaone Ditlhokwe’s participation at the Afcon qualifier match against rivals Zambia next week.

The 22-year-old national team skipper was expected to play a crucial role as the Zebras face Chipolopolo in a two-legged encounter in the third and fourth round of the biggest African football showpiece.

Ditlhokwe has reportedly suffered a hamstring injury and might be ruled out of action for a couple of weeks.

After returning to training following a broken collar bone injury, the towering defender returned to the stands due to the hamstring predicament.

However, sources close to the matter alleged that Ditlhokwe is set to report for the Zebras camp this week for assessment of the injury.

“Ditlhokwe’s club has notified the Zebras camp that he is injured but have since released him for national duty. The Zebras medical team is set to assess the injury and conduct a fitness test that will determine his fate for the scheduled two home and away matches,” a source told Sunday Standard.

Ditlhokwe has since played a pivotal role in the Zebras defence that has since earned him the team arm band under the tutelage of gaffer Adel Amrouche.

Following a move to Supersport United early this year, the former Township Rollers defender proved his mettle against the best in the DSTV premiership cementing a place in the first team squad.

Botswana Football Association (BFA) mouthpiece Tumo Mpatane could not be drawn much in the matter as he was not aware of the player’s injury.

“We are yet to receive medical reports with concern to players injuries ahead of the Zambia match but believe that as soon as they reach us, we will alert the nation about the status of the squad. I just know that Ditlhokwe will be joining the rest of the squad this week,” Mpatane said briefly.

Meanwhile, while Botswana lock horns with Zambia, Zimbabwe will battle against reigning African champions Algeria.

The African champions are at the summit of the table after collecting maximum points following a 5-nil thrilling over Zambia and a slender solitary win against the Zebras.

Zimbabwe are placed second on the table after kickstarting their campaign with a nil all draw against Zebras and pocketing maximum points against Zambia.

Rooted at the bottom of the table, Zambia are yet to collect a point after two consecutive losses while Zebras collected a single point in their opener against Zimbabwe and lost to the African champions.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper