Thembi back to boost Banyana’s World Cup hopes

Thembi Kgatlana has fully recovered and ready for action, including boosting Banyana Banyana.
Thembi Kgatlana has fully recovered and ready for action, including boosting Banyana Banyana.

THE chief medical officer of the SA Football Association, Doctor Thulani Ngwenya, has confirmed that Banyana Banyana striker Thembi Kgatlana has fully recovered from her long-term injury.

Kgatlana ruptured her Achilles tendon in a Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (Wafcon) group match against Botswana which ruled her out for the rest of the tournament on 10 July last year.

However, that did not stop Banyana from winning their first Wafcon title as the heroines went all the way to beat hosts Morocco 2-1 in the final.

Banyana also qualified for their second Fifa Women’s World Cup by reaching the Wafcon semi-finals, together with Morocco, Zambia and Nigeria.

The women’s showpiece will be staged jointly by Australia and New Zealand from 20 July to 20 August.

There were concerns that Kgatlana would recover in time for the World Cup as she’s one of Mzansi’s best players.

But the latest news is that the player is ready to go. She will be jetting off to join her new club Racing Louisville in the United States this week.

Explained Ngwenya: “Thembi (Kgatlana) has been discharged from all the medical doctors.

“She is leaving next week (this week) for the USA.

“We have been in constant communication with her team and they’re quite happy with what we have been doing and the support that we’ve been giving Thembi.”

Ngwenya said that her mentality and attitude played a key role in her recovery. He stated:

“She has done something remarkable because of her mindset and she is ready to start playing again and I can guarantee that she will be available for selection going to the Fifa Women’s World Cup,” he added.

Kgatlana will be returning to the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) for the second time. In 2018, she played for Houston Dash.

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