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Pirates fret over Dzvukamanja fitness

The Buccaneers are injury-hit going into an encounter against their traditional foes but there could be faint for the return of one attacker.

Terrence Dzvukamanja
Terrence Dzvukamanja

Orlando Pirates will be crossing their fingers attacking midfielder Terrence Dzvukamanja passes a late fitness test ahead of tomorrow’s Soweto derby clash against arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs at Orlando Stadium.

Dzvukamanja has been feeling some pain on his neck and has not played in the Buccaneers last two league games.

Although the Zimbabwean is yet to contribute a goal or even an assist in 11 PSL appearances this season, coach Josef Zinnbauer still retains faith in him.

“Orlando Pirates can confirm that Terrence Dzvukamanja is due to undergo a late fitness test before he is given the green light by the Bucs medical team.

The Zimbabwean international complained about neck pain ahead of the Maritzburg United game and has since been receiving treatment,” Pirates announced on their website.

Usually a winger, Dzvukamanja has been largely deployed as a forward by Zinnbauer.

His absence in the last two games worsened the Buccaneers injury crisis upfront, forcing Zinnbauer to rely on inexperienced teenage midfielder Azola Tshobeni as a striker. This follows injuries to other forwards Zakhale Lepasa, Tshegofatso Mabasa and Frank Mhango.

With Jean-Marc Makusu the only natural striker available, the Congolese is yet to settle into the squad and has been used as a second-half substitute after also joining the Buccaneers while injured in November 2020.

“Jean-Marc hasn’t been here for a long time. He has been working on conditioning, on the system and it’s not easy for him to come in. But he will get more time, we have to improve him. It’s important for us to give him minutes,” Zinnbauer said as per Phakaaathi.

“ Maybe when the strikers come back we can play with two strikers. It’s important for us to get the right system and like I said, we’ve had top opportunities to score, maybe in the next games (we will use the goal-scoring opportunities). I want my strikers on the field and they have to score.”

Pirates will also be without defenders Abel Mabaso and Innocent Maela on Saturday.

Mabaso is yet to feature this season nursing his ulna, while Maela is suspended after accumulating four yellow cards over the course of the season. – Goal.com

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