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Middendorp takes swipe at Kaizer Chiefs regarding Khune's injury update

10:48 GMT 29/11/2019
Itumeleng Khune and Ernst Middendorp - Kaizer Chiefs
The veteran mentor feels it was unnecessary for the club to go public on the goalkeeper's recovery because he isn't ready to play at this stage

Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp isn't happy that the club went public and declared Itumeleng Khune 'fully fit' to play on the eve of their Telkom Knockout Cup semi-final loss to Maritzburg United last week. 

Khune has been out of action for the past four weeks with a groin injury, and Middendorp didn't want to rush him back despite the goalkeeper's recovery. 

However, Chiefs announced on Friday last week that the 32-year-old was in contention for the match in Mbombela only for the German mentor to turn to Bruce Bvuma with Brylon Petersen as his reserve goalkeeper. 

Middendorp explained that being 'fully fit' doesn't necessarily mean Khune was ready to play, adding that he also underwent a knee operation where he was told to take it easy despite being declared fit by his doctors earlier this week.  

"Let me give you an example. I went for surgery... nobody knows, a knee operation and that was last Tuesday; 14 days ago. Excellent work was done. I had now, after two weeks, a final meeting with the specialist on Monday and he said, 'You're 100 percent, medically, you’re fit’," Middendorp told the media upon receiving his coach of the month accolade on Thursday. 

"But he said, 'Now be careful. Step by step, build it up. Don’t turn around; don’t kick the ball. Just be careful, step by step'.  

"Medically, I’m fit but not in a way that I can run around and do stuff. This is the same thing that has happened with certain players.

"I know [that Khune is fully fit] but it's really something I’m not happy about... pumping it into the public. Most of the time this 'medically fit' piece of expression is forgotten.

"If you read it, the player is fit, but he’s not. He comes just out of a situation where he joined the training and put himself in a physically good condition to be competitive at a certain time, and at the moment he is not [ready to compete]."

With Daniel Akpeyi doing ever so well for Amakhosi, Middendorp is likely to afford Khune as much time as possible to be in a condition to compete again this season.