Golden Arrows coach Clinton Larsen says Divine Lunga is the only player on a lengthy injury list that may be ready for the visit of Kaizer Chiefs on December 1.
Lunga was starting to find his feet in the PSL after his signing from Chicken Inn in Zimbabwe before he was badly tackled in a win over Black Leopards on October 7.
It has left Arrows short of experience at left-back as fellow defender Zolani Nkombelo is still recovering from a broken foot sustained in pre-season.
Larsen, who consequently recruited Frank Motebejane in September, has been playing veteran defender
Siyanda Zwane on the left with youngster Nkosinathi Sibisi taking the opposite flank.
There’s also a big issue in central midfield as Sandile Zuke and Danny Phiri are only expected back next
year, along with Velemseni Ndwandwe.
“No, I doubt it. We might have Divine Lunga back, but all the others are long-term injuries,” said Larsen
when asked which of his injured players will be back for the clash with Amakhosi.
“You look at Zuke, Danny Phiri, Nkombelo, Ndwandwe, and I can go on. There’s a few more but I think at least we have one left-footed fullback (Lunga) back, which gives us better balance.
“When you lose that balance you lose your attacking threat down the side, especially the way we play with our fullbacks giving us lots of offensive mobility.
“So, it limits you to a certain extent. Zwane has always cut back on his right foot, which slows the action down to get attackers on to the ball. So, having Lunga back is going to give us another dimension, which has been missing in the last four or five games.”
Meanwhile, Larsen was disappointed Abafana Bes’thende let a lead slip in a 2-1 loss at Baroka last weekend, a result which leaves the Durban-based outfit in 11th place on the log with 12 points from as many games.
Leraro Lamola opened the scoring early on with a looping header, but Bakgaga hit back via goals from Jemondre Dickens and Vusi Sibiya in Limpopo.
“It is a huge missed opportunity for us,” said Larsen.
“We spoke to the players before the game and we said to them that we had a chance to put seven, eight points between ourselves and the bottom teams, and we didn’t take that.
“We also had the chance to go two points behind teams that are in third and fourth position.
“In that regard it is very disappointing, but you know the first 35 minutes we were on top of them. One nil up, you need to get a second and third goal because they were there for the taking, and we didn’t.
“[They were] two poor goals to concede. The first one, Zwane slips on the edge of the box and it allows them to play the ball in that space where he slips, and the misjudgement by the goalkeeper (Nkosi Gumede) for the second one. So two very poor goals to concede.
“We still had other chances in the first and second half, so it was disappointing. Not the worst performance from the team but the result was a big, big missed opportunity for us.” — KickOff