Bafana Bafana captain Thulani Hlatshwayo was laid out cold again at the weekend in what is his third serious concussion playing top-level football and it must sound alarm bells about his future well-being.
Hlatshwayo is at home recovering from a knock to the head and has a gash across his face after Bidvest Wits’s 2-1 win over Baroka FC in Polokwane on Sunday.
He was kicked in the head by Tebogo Sodi and received six stitches to a gash just below his eye and along his cheek bone.
The Wits centre back was carried off the field knocked out by the blow and has been sent home to rest while his teammates prepare for their last game before the festive season break against Chippa United on Friday.
Scans have revealed no fracture to his cheekbone as originally feared. But his eyes are swollen and it could be weeks before Hlatshwayo can play again.
But having suffered similar concussion in the past‚ there must be concerns that the tough-tackling defender could feel the effects later.
Cranial trauma has become a major issue in American football where former players suffer a variety of ailments due to it later on in life. Hlatshwayo suffered concussion in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Equatorial Guinea and again in April which forced him to miss four Premiership games.