Orlando Pirates still without Justice Chabalala and Thabo Qalinge

Bucs have provided an injury update ahead of their busy league schedule in the coming weeks

Orlando Pirates have reported that both Justice Chabalala and Thabo Qalinge are still not ready to return to action.

According to the club, Chabalala is nursing a knock on his ankle, while Qalinge is still working on his fitness to return to the team after a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

“Chabalala is currently nursing an ankle injury and is still undergoing physiotherapy while Qalinge is gradually making his return to full fitness. The skillful 26-year-old is still working with the strength and conditioning team while he awaits report from (the) specialist to give him the green light to start full training with the rest of the team,” the club said in a statement on its website.

Chabalala has featured nine times in all competitions for the Sea Robbers this season, seven of those coming in the league.

He last played in the 2-1 loss to Free State Stars on December 16, and will surely have to work his socks off to break into the starting line-up, as Micho Sregojevic's defence appears to have found their footing in the last three matches.

As for Qalinge, he has featured 12 times in all competitions, scoring two goals in the process. His last goal came in the 1-0 win over Golden Arrows in the Telkom Knockout Cup.

He last featured for Bucs in the 1-0 victory over Bloemfontein Celtic towards the end of November, with Musa Nyatama scoring the winner.

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Like Chabalala, ‘Section 10’ will have his work cut out for him to crack the nod and regain his starting berth in a team that looks threatening from an offensive point of view.

Bucs trail the league leaders Mamelodi Sundowns by seven points after 18 games and visit Platinum Stars in Rustenburg on Saturday, aiming to bridge the gap.

They will then meet the relegation-threatened Ajax Cape Town in the Mother City four days later before hosting Fadlu Davids' Maritzburg United on February 3 at the Orlando Stadium.