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Bafana Bafana rocked by Thulani Hlatshwayo's injury ahead of Senegal match

12:57 GMT 09/11/2017
Bafana Bafana, Thulani Hlatshwayo
Hlatshwayo appears likely to miss the Senegal showdown on Friday after picking up a knock. Baxter doesn't think the Bafana captain is 100 percent fit

Bafana Bafana captain Thulani Hlatshwayo is set to miss Friday's encounter against Senegal due to injury. 

According to head coach Stuart Baxter, playing Hlatshwayo would be a big gamble, saying he won't risk fielding the utility defender for the crucial Fifa World Cup qualifier in Polokwane if he's not going to last for too long on the pitch. 

With just over 24 hours to go before the match, Baxter will have to finalize his starting line-up without his skipper. 

He will take solace from the fact that he still has Clayton Daniels, Morgan Gould and Eric Mathoho available for selection. 

The two SuperSport United defenders - Daniels and Gould - played their hearts out in the absence of both Hlatshwayo and Mathoho against Burkina Faso.   

“It would be a big gamble if he plays,” Baxter confirmed on Thursday.

“Tyson (Hlatshwayo) looks like he is going to struggle for this one and we are not going to take a chance. I think we need to make sure we won’t have a player that is going to come off after five minutes. At this point we are doubtful that he will take part,” he said.

Meanwhile, Baxter maintained that they are hopeful that Itumeleng Khune will be fit for the encounter, after participating in Wednesday's training session with the rest of the team.  

“With Itu we are more hopeful. We put him through shooting and training drills and he felt quite good. He wore a mask. We are adjusting it slightly to make it fit him better. If we are not sure Itu is comfortable enough to give a performance, we won’t risk him,” he said.