South Africa: Patosi Withdrawn From Bafana Bafana Squad Due to Injury

Bafana Bafana's new kid on the block, Belgium-based Ayanda Patosi has been withdrawn from the training camp currently underway.

The forward missed the first training session on Thursday afternoon (27 December 2012) as he was nursing an ankle injury. He trained for only a few minutes on Friday morning (28 December) but felt some discomfort, forcing him to watch the rest of training from the sidelines.

The player has been released from camp and is expected to travel home to Cape Town this evening.

"It is such a pity that he will not be with us due to injury but he is a young man and should be fine. I would have loved to work with him but his injury prevented us from doing so. He is a player for the future, hopefully someday he will return to the national team fold," said Gordon Igesund.

Patosi sustained the ankle injury in his club's last league match before heading to South Africa. He is expected to be out of action for three to four weeks.

"I am so disappointed that I will not be part of the AFCON 2013 tournament, I had such high hopes of playing for my country. But being called up for this training camp is in itself a great motivation and will make sure I work harder to return to the national team fold. I really enjoyed my time here, with a great bunch of talented players, unfortunately the injury cut short my stay. I am proud to have come this far and can only wish the boys all the best in the tournament," said Patosi.

He becomes the third player to be withdrawn from the squad due to injury after striker Benni McCarthy and defender Eric Mathoho.

Meanwhile training got into top gear at Orlando Stadium in Soweto, with all the other players taking part, including Belgium-based Anele Ngcongca and Siyanda Xulu who arrived on Thursday night.

Andile Jali, who also missed Thursday's training session, managed to complete the gruelling morning session on Friday without a problem.

The players gave their all in a rigorous and arduous training session in hot conditions under the watchful eye of head coach Gordon Igesund and his assistant Serame Letsoaka.

The mini training camp ends tomorrow (Saturday, 29 December) with just one session in the morning before Igesund announces the 23-man Africa Cup of Nations 2013 squad on Sunday, 30 December.

The announcement will take place at the Southern Sun Monte Casino Hotel in Fourways at 15h00.

"The mood in the camp is very high; they all want to be part of this tournament. Unfortunately, some players will not be selected. Most players are eager to be part of this exercise of playing in this prestigious tournament. We will be hosting AFCON for the second time in our history, and who knows maybe we might make history and win it again," said midfielder Lerato Chabangu.

His sentiments were echoed by Thuso Phala.

"All the players are excited at the challenge facing us of making the final team. For me, getting this far and being part of the training camp is an achievement on its own. It would be an honour and a dream come true to be selected for AFCON 2013, so I just need to continue working hard. All players are giving 100 percent at training because they want to be selected."

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