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Orlando Pirates receive injury boost as Thabiso Kutumela returns to training

12:02 AM GMT+8 01/08/2018
Orlando Pirates, Thabiso Kutumela
The former South Africa under-23 international has been cleared by the medical team, and he will return to full training

Orlando Pirates striker Thabiso Kutumela has expressed delight after recovering from a long-term injury.

The diminutive forward had been out nursing an ankle injury which he sustained midway through last season. 

Speaking to the club's official website, the former Baroka FC marksman said he was happy to be back training with his Bucs teammates. 

“I am happy to be back training again,” said Kutumela, who scored twice in 16 league games last season. 

“It has been a long time since I last trained with the guys. It was such a relief to be running with my boots on," he continued. 

Kutumela, who won the 2015/16 National First Division (NFD) Golden Boot, thanked the Pirates medical team, coaches, teammates and family, who supported him while he was on the sidelines.

"The toughest part however, in my recovery has always been the mental side of things, but I am thankful to the medical team as well as the support that I have been getting from my family, the coaches and my teammates," he concluded. 

Despite his return to the training grounds, the Bucs revealed that Kutumela is likely miss the team's opening league game of the season against Highlands Park.

The quick frontman, who made two appearances in the 2017 Telkom Knockout Cup, is still working his fitness.

Kutumela, 25, will be competing with Zambia international Augustine Mulenga, Justin Shonga, and South African strikers Lyle Foster, and Thamsanqa Gabuza for a place in Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic's starting line-up. 

The encounter between Bucs and Highlands Park is scheduled to take place at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday.