Fit-again Lebo Mothiba back on Bafana Bafana radar

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12 Lebo MOTHIBA (rcsa) during the Ligue 1 Uber Eats match between Strasbourg and Marseille on October 29, 2022 in Strasbourg, France. (Photo by Philippe Lecoeur/FEP/Icon Sport via Getty Images) - Photo by Icon sport
12 Lebo MOTHIBA (rcsa) during the Ligue 1 Uber Eats match between Strasbourg and Marseille on October 29, 2022 in Strasbourg, France. (Photo by Philippe Lecoeur/FEP/Icon Sport via Getty Images) - Photo by Icon sport

Although not part of Hugo Broos' latest squad, France-based striker Lebo Mothiba is back on the Bafana Bafana radar following his recent return to form and fitness.

Plagued by injuries over the last two-and-a-half seasons, Lebo Mothiba appears to be inching closer to a Bafana Bafana recall after returning to form and fitness with French Ligue 1 side RC Strasbourg Alsace.

The 26-year-old, who also previously played for Lille and Valenciennes in France, was once heralded as the key to South Africa's goalscoring woes after scoring in each of his first four international appearances, but saw his progress hindered by a string of hamstring, knee and groin injuries that saw him miss the entire 2020/21 season and a large part of the last campaign.

He made his long-awaited return in December last year before going out on loan to fellow Ligue 1 side Troyes for the remainder of 2021/22, and has since returned to his parent club where he has made massive strides in recent weeks.

Although yet to start a match while he continues to regain match fitness, Mothiba has played a starring role from the bench and scored in back-to-back encounters against Toulouse and Olympique Marseille last month to earn his side a point in each encounter, winning the Man of the Match award for his performance in the former fixture.

READ | Mothiba scores first Strasbourg goal in over 1000 days

His resurgence has caught the attention of national team coach Hugo Broos who has revealed that the burly striker is back on the radar for a future Bafana Bafana call-up, albeit not for the friendly internationals against Mozambique and Angola later this month.

"We are following him. I think two games ago he came in and scored, and then the other game he started and scored, so he is on a good way," Broos told SABC Sport during his squad announcement on Tuesday.

"This guy had a tough period behind him with injuries and then in the last year with Toulouse, he didn't play so much. Now, he has a new start and he is playing with Strasbourg. It's not a bad team, playing in the first division in France.

"So, let's see what happens in the next weeks and whether he can go on and become a standard player, and we would be very happy [if he does]."

To date, Mothiba has played a hand in 29 goals in 90 Ligue 1 appearances, scoring 22 and assisting a further seven across spells with Lille, Strasbourg and Troyes, while adding a further 10 goals and two assists in 29 outings during his loan spell in Ligue 2 with Valenciennes five years ago.

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