- Billiat is recovering from a long-term injury
- But he has begun light training
- There is now hope he could return before season end
WHAT HAPPENED? Since featuring in the Soweto Derby against Orlando Pirates on October 29, Billiat has not played competitive football. He underwent surgery on his groin and was ruled out for the rest of the season.
But there is now a possibility the 32-year-old could return before the campaign ends.
Ngcobo also required surgery to fix a torn thigh muscle and was expected to be back to complete the current term but Zwane says the midfielder will not see competitive action again this season.
WHAT ZWANE SAID: “Mshini [Ngcobo] is out this season, he’s not going to be available,” said Zwane as per iDiski Times.
“Khama started jogging last week, if not the week before last. He’s far from returning to play, but we don’t doubt our bio is working on him before we can hand him over to football actions, which is the coaches on the field.
“Then we’ll take it from there, I will be fighting for his fitness and make sure that he’s ready to play. Otherwise, we don’t want to risk and hurt him again. Tower [Erick Mathoho] just got back, fighting for fitness as well. Cole, he is the one that looks closest to the starting team.
“As I said earlier on, the number of injuries that we had to key players this season was a big blow for us.
“Now we were forced to make too many changes and putting other players under pressure, more especially the young ones because we wanted to bring them in gradually. I’m also proud at the same time that those we gave an opportunity to rose to the occasion.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: In recent matches, Chiefs have been winning and seem not to miss Billiat. The Zimbabwean had little contribution this season before injury struck.
Struggling to be influential in games as he used to do before, Chiefs fans turned against him and he was subjected to booing from the stands.
He has no goal to his name and has managed just three assists in 11 games across all competitions. With his contract coming to an end on June 30, there has been speculation his contract might not be renewed.
Some reports suggest Zwane is already lining up Cape Town City attacking midfielder Mduduzi Mdantsane as a replacement for Billiat.
Now with hope he could return, he could be back as Chiefs have entered a crucial stage of the season in which they are bidding for a number two spot. They are also in the quest for the Nedbank Cup.
WHAT NEXT FOR BILLIAT? The Zimbabwean continues with rehabilitation hoping to be able to play before the season ends.
If he manages to play again this season, Billiat will want to improve his performance levels to convince Zwane he deserves to be handed a new contract.