Itumeleng Khune will not be part of Bafana Bafana's Afcon squad, confirms Stuart Baxter

The Bafana Bafana mentor has confirmed that Khune will not recover in time to be part of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has confirmed that Kaizer Chiefs star Itumeleng Khune will miss the upcoming 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

The Amakhosi No.1 has been out of action for some time having sustained an injury back in January which subsequently ruled him out of the remainder of the campaign.

Despite Khune having missed Bafana’s crunch tie against Libya, Baxter was still hoping to have the Chiefs stopper at his disposal heading into the showpiece event.

However, Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp recently refuted any chance of Khune being available, something which Baxter has now conceded.

“I was at Naturena this week and I spoke to Ernst and Chiefs’ medical staff there, and they said training is going very slowly, it is not in the realm of possibility that he will be anywhere near fit, so that is discounted,” Baxter explained.

In a press conference utilised as an opportunity for Baxter to address the media and give an update on his plans ahead of the Afcon, Baxter also stated that Bafana would take on African giants Ghana as part of his side’s preparations ahead of the finals.

While details are yet to be confirmed, the clash is expected to take place in Dubai.

Furthermore, Baxter has also suggested that the South Africa Football Association are still in negotiations with several other countries as they look to give Bafana the best possible preparation for the event.

Nevertheless, with Khune now set to miss the event this does open the spot to any deserving keeper.

Against Libya, Baxter opted for the trio of Darren Keet, Ronwen Williams and Bruce Bvuma, but it remains to be seen whether or not he will pursue a similar selection this time around.

South Africa have been drawn into Group D at the Africa Cup of Nations, which kicks off on June 21 in Egypt.

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Bafana will begin their Afcon campaign against Ivory Coast in Cairo, before meeting Namibia and Morocco as they look to reach the knockout stages.