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‘It's a rebirth’ for returning Bafana Bafana star Mothiba after a long layoff

16:25 GMT 04/01/2022
Lebo Mothiba - Strasbourg vs. Monaco
The 25-year-old is back after spending 673 days on the sidelines due to a nagging knee injury

Racing Club Strasbourg and Bafana Bafana attacker Lebo Mothiba has promised fans will see a new player in him after finally playing his first competitive match since February 2020.

Mothiba came on as a second-half substitute in Sunday’s 1-0 Coupe de France defeat by Montpellier and played the last 14 minutes.

The player was nursing a long-term knee injury which saw him miss the whole of last season after, interestingly, being injured against Montpellier in a Ligue 1 match on February 29, 2020.

After his knee healed, he was initially expected back in September 2021 but suffered another injury setback with a hamstring strain.

“It’s a rebirth. People will see a new Lebo, not the old one. I’m hungry for the ball and goals,” said Mothiba as per Far Post.

“I feel magnificent, nickel. It’s just duels from time to time that I’m afraid; it’s the game. But on the races, the passes, the strikes, I feel good. I am very, very happy. It was very, very long. But I was patient; I continued to work and believe in me.”

Mothiba finally played a competitive game after having featured on the bench as an unused substitute against Clermont on December 22.

During his absence, the attacker missed Bafana Bafana’s two failed attempts to qualify for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations as well as the 2022 Fifa World Cup.

His return would be some good news Bafana coach Hugo Broos in their next assignments.

Strasbourg captain Dimitri Lienard is pushing Mothiba to work hard and ” find the rhythm.”

“I hope he will bring us all his know-how, that is to say, take depth,” Lienard said.

“He is another type of attacker that we do not have. I am happy for him, even if the work is not finished. He must not give up.”

Strasbourg now visit Metz for Sunday’s league game and it would be seen if Mothiba will play his first Ligue 1 match in almost two years.