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Hlompho Kekana has not traveled with Bafana Bafana to Dakar

18:23 GMT+3 13/11/2017
Hlompho Kekana, Mamelodi Sundowns, March 2016.
Despite Baxter leaving the door open for Kekana's return, he has not traveled with the team to Dakar

The South Africa national team will once again go to battle against Senegal without influential midfielder Hlompho Kekana.

The Mamelodi Sundowns captain has been a stalwart of the Bafana Bafana set up of recent times, but due to a family bereavement he was forced to pull out of Last Friday’s crunch encounter against Senegal, where the national team’s 2018 Fifa World Cup hopes went up in smoke thanks to a 2-0 defeat against the Lions of Teranga.

However, while Bafana’s Russian hopes ended this past weekend, they now have a shot at redemption as they lock horns with the West African’s on Tuesday night. But they will have to do so without Kekana yet again. Despite the experienced midfielder being excused from camp and Tiyani Mabunda subsequently called up to fill the void, Bafana coach Stuart Baxter left the door open for a potential return should the 32-year-old be open to it. But with team having travelled to Dakar, reports state that Kekana will again be a notable absentee as he did not travel with the team.

Kekana’s absence will come as a blow considering Baxter’s stance that he will not treat their final World Cup qualifier as a dead rubber.