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Mamelodi Sundowns’ Mokwena explains Coetzee's absence ahead of Stellenbosch FC clash

5:00 PM GMT+8 01/12/2021
Rivaldo Coetzee, Mamelodi Sundowns, August 2021
The co-coach reveals why the 26-year-old defensive midfielder has missed action for the Brazilians in the last month

Mamelodi Sundowns co-head coach Rhulani Mokwena has explained the reason Rivaldo Coetzee has been out of action for the last month.

The 26-year-old defensive midfielder last started a game for the Brazilians during their MTN8 penalty shootout success against Cape Town City at Moses Mabhida Stadium on October 30.

Coetzee who is a product of Ajax Cape Town’s youth academy, finally made a return to action on Saturday after he came on for striker Pavol Safranko as Sundowns cruised to a 2-0 Premier Soccer League victory against Sekhukhune United at Tuks Stadium.

'Riva' had a contusion'

“‘Riva’ had a contusion — just a muscular complication, but he hasn’t trained fully with the team,” Mokwena said as quoted by Sowetan.

“But we’ve got a couple of situations and we had to fast-track his return, but the medical department has done fantastic work to try to get Riva back.”

On Lebohang Maboe, who underwent knee surgery in August, Mokwena said: “Maboe is actually progressing extremely well, training individually now but we still predict a long-term layoff from Lebo. He’s still not even close to taking part in full training.”

'Mkhulise has health issues'

Mokwena also talked about Sphelele Mkhulise and Gift Motupa, by stating: “Mkhulise has got health issues. There are a few health issues in our team. There’s a smallanyana (tiny) bug that is going around the side.

“So a lot of our players who are on that list have been out because of medical complications. And I think if you understand the importance of privacy in relation to medical prognosis you will understand why I can’t divulge more into their health-related absence.

“Motupa has a muscular complication and with soft tissue injuries, you’ve got to be very careful because if you rush and don’t go through the right rehabilitation process then you risk having the player out even longer.

“He’s an important player for us, but the medical department are working on him. We’ve got a very strong medical department that is working very hard to ensure these players return as quickly as possible.”

Sundowns, who are topping the 16-team table with 30 points from 12 matches, will next face Stellenbosch FC at Danie Craven Stadium on Saturday.