Injury woes mount for Bafana Bafana
South Africa's injury concerns ahead of Saturday's showdown with Burkina Faso shows no signs of abating, with captain Thulani Hlatshwayo the latest ruled out of the 2018 World Cup qualifier.
The Bidvest Wits man will miss the must-win match with a knee injury, with veteran Cape Town City defender Robyn Johannes handed a last-minute SOS.
This follows news over the weekend that another centre-back, Erick Mathoho, was ordered to serve his two-match ban for a red card against Cape Verde Islands, with Mamelodi Sundowns' Motjeka Madisha having replaced him.
Goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune will now captain the side at FNB Stadium -- providing he recovers from a shoulder injury.
And there are also injury clouds hanging over Belgium-based midfielder Andile Jali, who has a dislocated shoulder, and SuperSport United striker Bradley Grobler (groin).
Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter admits his team faces an uphill battle against the group leaders; more so given the current contrast in form between the two sides.
"The biggest problem the players will have in this camp is that they have under-achieved in these two past games against Cape Verde," he told Safa.net.
"We have been massively criticised but now we have to move on and believe. We have to address the issue of self-confidence, self-image, self-esteem - all those selves, and if we can't do that we won't give a performance against Burkina Faso, and if that happens then we won't win.
"That's where my focus is at the moment because this is a massive game.
"We have to go out there and rectify things, but without confidence I don't think we can to that. They are the best team in the group, they were very competitive against Senegal - in fact, they were closer to winning than Senegal was.
"They are a powerful team, they are physical, they have certain players with very good qualities and we have to shut that down. So when you don't perform the way you want to perform, the first thing that goes is confidence, so we will need people who will work hard, that are brave and believe that we have a chance."