Khune back in training ahead of crunch qualifiers

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Itumeleng Khune of South Africa during a training session at Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane

JOHANNESBURG - There has been no official announcement about Itumeleng Khune’s availability for Bafana Bafana&39;s Friday night World Cup qualifier – but the patriotic goalkeeper is training hard despite a bone fracture in his face.

Coach Stuart Baxter was cagey on whether Khune is certain to pass a fitness test, but the influential goalkeeper was buoyant as usual, insisting he was always prepared to die for his country.

South Africa take on Senegal in a FIFA World Cup qualifier on Friday at Peter Mokaba Stadium knowing they need to win the remaining two games to book a ticket to Russia 2018.

The second game will be played in Senegal on Tuesday night.

READ: Bafana may be without Khune for WC qualifiers

First, Khune went through his ritual of jogging around the pitch before the team’s physical trainer put him through a rigorous fitness exercise on Wednesday.

After that, he was put through the normal routine where he looked sharp and not showing any effect of the facial fracture he suffered against Chippa United on Sunday.

File: Itumeleng Khune of South Africa during a training session at Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane. Credit: BackpagePix

Khune’s injury has put the country into panic mode but he was his vibrant self when he joined the rest of the camp on Wednesday morning.

Coach Baxter said he was happy that all the players were now in camp including late replacement, Tiyani Mabunda who came in for Thulani Serero.

Also joining the rest of the group in Polokwane was assistant coach Quinton Fortune who flew from Manchester, England on Monday.

READ: &39;Knives to throats&39; as South Africa seek miracle

Both Andile Jali and Bongani Zungu will miss Friday’s clash but will be available for next Tuesday’s return game in Dakar, Senegal.

South Africa leave for Senegal on Saturday the day after Friday’s clash in Polokwane where they play the Teranga Lions the following Tuesday.