Bafana Bafana have another goalkeeping conundrum just two months ahead of Afcon 2019, and may just have to turn to Itumeleng Khune, but coach Stuart Baxter wants the shot-stopper to prove his match fitness before he can board the plane to Egypt.
The 31-year-old has not played a match since conceding two goals in a defeat to Golden Arrows early in December 2018, having picked up an injury which ruled him out for the rest of the season.
However, the Bafana mentor revealed to TimesLive recently that he had returned to training with Kaizer Chiefs, and may well still feature in the club’s remaining fixtures.
“Khune is training fully and it’s now a matter of being match fit,” he told the publication.
“He will have to play games before we could consider him. But I will be in contact obviously, through Lee [Baxter’s son] and through Chiefs to monitor his progress from here until the end of the season.”
Bafana’s goalkeeping woes
Khune featured in all but one of Bafana’s matches in the Afcon 2019 qualifiers, keeping four clean sheets in five games before being injured.
In his absence, Bidvest Wits goalkeeper Darren Keet was handed the gloves as Bafana needed a point against Libya to secure a spot in the continental showpiece, and starred in a 2-1 victory.
Since then, poor club form has seen him relegated to the bench, missing his club’s last two outings, and he top could find himself struggling for game time ahead of the tournament.
Other goalkeeping options at Baxter’s disposal include Supersport United’s Ronwen Williams, as well as Khune’s Chiefs understudy Bruce Bvuma. Both keepers travelled with the national team to Tunisia for the game against Libya.