Thapelo Morena of Mamelodi Sundowns in action. Picture: ATSUSHI TOMURA/GETTY IMAGES
Thapelo Morena of Mamelodi Sundowns in action. Picture: ATSUSHI TOMURA/GETTY IMAGES

Mamelodi Sundowns confirmed that Bafana Bafana defender Thapelo Morena was to have surgery after suffering a fracture and ligament damage to his ankle in the 1-0 win over SuperSport United at Loftus on Saturday night as Sundowns progressed to the last 16 of the Nedbank Cup.

Morena was stretched off in the 69th minute when he twisted his ankle in a challenge with United defender Onismor Bhasera and it appears his season may be over.

“It is a difficult one with Thapelo because we needed him for the Champions League‚ the domestic league and this tournament going forward and we have lost him now‚” said Sundowns coach Pitso  Mosimane.

“He went to the hospital and I think the ankle went out of the joint and then went back in. We can say it is a positive but it is difficult. It is part of the game‚ it is that thing of trying to be too ambitious and trying to win every game.

“This is what I was saying that maybe we should do a Jurgen [Klopp] and focus on the league and the Champions League but we don’t have that culture here and this is what happens.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp recently rested his entire first team squad for a FA Cup replay against Shrewsbury opting to send out a side made up of young players. Klopp himself was not in the dugout for the match, leaving reserve team coach Neil Critchley to take charge.

On Saturday night United coach Kaitano Tembo commiserated with Morena.

“He is an important player for Sundowns and for Bafana Bafana‚ I just want to wish him a quick recovery‚” he said.

 “We want to see him on the field and it was just unfortunate for him to get injured the way he did. I had an opportunity to see the incident again and I think he twisted his ankle when his boot got stuck in the grass. It wasn’t really because of the tackle by Onismor Bhasera.”

Faced with this undesirable situation‚ Mosimane has challenged Lebohang Maboe‚ Ali Meza‚ Phakamani Mahlambi‚ Lyle Lakay and Anthony Laffor to raise their hands and fill the void.

“They must come and fill his place. This is what happens when you play a lot of games.” 

Mosimane bemoaned that competitions such as the Nedbank Cup added to his team’s overcrowded schedule. He said there was always the chance of injury or players picking up suspensions.