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Mokwena Blames Fixture Congestion For Costa’s Injury

  • May 9, 2024
  • 2 min read
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Mokwena Blames Fixture Congestion For Costa’s Injury

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena has pointed towards fixture congestion as a reason for recent injuries to players, including Lucas Ribeiro Costa.

Costa was forced off the field during Wednesday’s goalless draw against Golden Arrows at Mpumalanga Stadium, appearing to suffer a hamstring injury. He was replaced by Peter Shalulile in the 29th minute.

Mokwena referenced the hamstring injury sustained by assistant referee Zakhele Siwela during the Nedbank Cup semi-final against Stellenbosch FC at Danie Craven Stadium on Sunday. Siwela pulled the muscle while trying to keep pace with players on the field.

“If an assistant referee gets injured because of volumes of games, what more about the players guys?” Mokwena questioned.

Mokwena believes the high number of matches Sundowns have played across six competitions this season is a contributing factor to player injuries. The draw against Arrows was Sundowns’ 52 match this season and the number is set to grow next term due to the expansion of African Football League and their participation in FIFA Club World Cup.

“Lucas Ribeiro’s injury is just the consequence of the number of games that we have to play,” he said. “But I don’t think it is that serious.”

The 25-year-old Costa, a new signing from SK Beveren in Belgium, has already featured in 35 matches for Sundowns in all competitions this season, contributing 14 goals.

The draw against Arrows marked only the third time this season that Sundowns failed to score in a league match, following goalless stalemates against Cape Town City and Polokwane City in December.

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Robin-Duke Madlala

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