Khutlang says close to full recovery

Khutlang says close to full recovery

MASERU-Lesotho and Black Leopards playmaker Tumelo Khutlang says he is close to a full recovery from a collarbone injury that bothered him for two months.

Khutlang’s second season at the South African Premier League side was disrupted by injuries until the league was suspended indefinitely last month because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Last year the former Lioli star suffered a long-term groin injury that sidelined him for four months and, as a result, he only played one game in the first round of the ABSA Premiership season.
The skilful attacker then suffered another setback when he hurt his collarbone earlier this year.

Khutlang is currently in Lesotho with football suspended in South Africa and no indication as to when it will resume.
Khutlang is training three to four times a week according to a programme the players were given to follow by Black Leopards.
He said he sends videos to the club’s technical team as players were requested to do.

Before the suspension of the league, Khutlang made four appearances from the bench. He also scored in a 4-0 win over North West University in the Nedbank Cup in February as he tried to play his way back into favour at the Limpopo club.

“I am still recovering from my collarbone injury. I had a problem with movement, it was painful, but I can move it now,” Khutlang said.
“I couldn’t play even for the national team. I sat out the games when I was called. Hopefully by the time football returns I will be fully fit.”

Khutlang’s Lesotho international teammate Tshwarelo Bereng has been one of the stars of the season for Black Leopards but it was a frustrating time for Khutlang.

He said there were times he feared for his future at Black Leopards as his injury woes forced him to watch from the sidelines.
“I had a groin injury and I was out for four months, I only played one game in the first round against Kaizer Chiefs and I missed 16 (games), you get worried the team might release you if you are not playing games,” Khutlang told thepost.

He thanked new Black Leopards coach Alan Clark for giving him a chance to earn back a spot in the team.
Clark was appointed as Leopards caretaker coach until the end of the season in February replacing Cavin Johnson.

Clark gave Khutlang a chance to start in the Nedbank Cup and the 24 year-old grabbed it with both hands with an impressive display against North West University.
Khutlang said although he was still in pain because of his injured collarbone, he wanted to make use of the opportunity he was given.
“When the new coach (Alan Clark) arrived I was still recovering from a groin injury and he told me he will give me a chance and when he did it was up to me to take it with both hands. He was very honest and he has helped me a lot,” Khutlang said.

Black Leopards are entangled in a relegation battle in the South African top-flight.
They are bottom of the 16-team ABSA Premiership in a stop-start season that has seen four coaches take charge of the team. However, Black Leopards are only three points from safety and Khutlang said they are confident they will avoid the axe.

Khutlang said survival is in their hands and he insisted Black Leopards will be safe if they use their home advantage when they play in Limpopo.
Khutlang also expressed his concerns over the spread of the coronavirus in Lesotho saying he is worried Basotho are not practicing social distancing well enough to protect themselves.

Despite government ordering a national lockdown three weeks ago, people are still going to town flooding garages for paraffin.
“It’s like there is no lockdown here and it is concerning that people are still moving around like this and not complying with lockdown rules,” Khutlang lamented.

“You don’t know who is sick and who is not. I am worried because we are a small country and we do not have the capacity (to deal with an outbreak of coronavirus), we have to protect ourselves.”

Tlalane Phahla

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