Pienaar out of Afcon qualifiers

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The English-based midfielder has battled with the problem in recent weeks, putting into doubt chances he will line up for Bafana Bafana when they meet Nigeria in Abuja on June 1. But he did play a full 90 minutes in Everton’s last two matches against Arsenal and Newcastle United.

Earlier this season, Pienaar suffered a recurrence of his long standing ankle problem. It led to a media bashing in January when Pienaar was accused of faking injury before the last of the African Nations Cup group matches against Senegal in Kumasi.

South Africa are already without Elrio van Heerden for the June matches, which also includes games against Equatorial Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Van Heerden had a knee operation last week and has been told he will be out of action until July. He was injured in training with his Belgian club Club Brugge in April and a decision to have an operation was taken earlier this month.