Matlama star vows to bounce back

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MASERU – Matlama striker Mohau Khali hopes to play again after sustaining a career-threatening leg injury against LDF last Saturday.

Khali broke his leg in a collision with LDF goalkeeper Sello Ramakau in a Vodacom Premier League match.

The collision left him with fractured lower tibia and fibula.

The two players collided in the 10th minute of the game at Ratjomose.

The incident itself was not a malicious one but it was obvious, as Khali explained from his Mazenod home, that damage had immediately been done.

“When I tried to lift my leg I realised it was broken, the lower part of the leg went up,” Khali said on Tuesady.

“It was a long through pass and I didn’t see the goalkeeper coming. I tried to poke the ball and as I did that he kicked the leg that was on the ground,” Khali said. 

However the striker does not blame Ramakau.

“He came afterwards to apologise,” he said.

Speaking earlier in the week Matlama communications and marketing manager Lesolle Phalatsi said he feared Khali would never play football again because of the seriousness of the injury.

However Khali, though clearly shaken-up, was in high spirits saying he planned to be back in Tse Putsoa’s famous blue uniform next season.

“I want to play again next season,” Khali said.

“I hope to go back and play again. Matlama are helping me.”

Khali said he had been told it would take six months for his leg to completely heal and before he could resume training.

A check-up appointment is lined up for June 13.

The usual healing time for mid-shaft tibia and fibula fractures treated with cast immobilisation is usually 12 to 16 weeks.

“The doctor said I should come back on June 13,” Khali said.

His injury though is particularly upsetting because he had no care after the injury happened and he had to wait for 12 minutes before he was taken to hospital.

There was no ambulance despite the premier league’s assurances that there would be improved safety.

There also appeared to be confusion from Matlama’s medical staff as to what to do.

The injury brings into focus once more the amateurish nature of Lesotho’s football.

Now it is important he gets the best care, rehabilitation with a physiotherapist to restore the range of ankle and knee movement and to restore the muscle strength that is lost during the immobilisation period.

The injury comes at the worst possible time for Khali as he was set to be in the Makoanyane XI squad to play in the Caf African Youth Championship in South Africa later this month. He has been replaced by Lioli’s Teboho Lekhooa.

The injury is worsened because in Lesotho football there is not much care, rewards or security for players.

Khali indeed was not in school this year but hopes to resume his high school studies next year.

Khali’s father, Thapelo Khali, was less upbeat about his son’s prospects.

“From what I saw from the x-rays I’m not sure if he will be able to go back to the field. (But) if he can get back and he wants to play I won’t stop him,” the father said.

“It has not made us (Khali’s family) happy; we don’t know where his talent could have taken him. It is going to be very hard for him now.”

Khali said Matlama, especially the team’s manager Lebenya Makakole, had been helpful.

For Khali’s Makoanyane XI teammates it has been confirmed that their Caf African Youth Championships campaign will take place in Johannesburg.

A statement realised by CAF on Tuesday said venues would be named later.

The eight-nation tournament will now run from April 17 to May 1, a month later than planned after violence in the initial host country Libya.

Lesotho will be in the same group as hosts South Africa, Egypt and Mali.

Group B will be contested by reigning champions Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon and Gambia.

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