Tshepo Ntsoelengoe
Football Writer
2 minute read
2 Dec 2021
9:21 am

Pirates hoping for star player’s return before Christmas break

Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

Lorch is back at training after undergoing a surgery.

Orlando Pirates forward Thembinkosi Lorch could return to full training ahead of Christmas break. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

While Ben Motshwari and Gabadinho Mhango have steadily made their way back into the Orlando Pirates team, winger Thembinkosi Lorch is still working his way to full fitness.

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Pirates co-coach Mandla Ncikazi has confirmed that the start winger, who has not featured for the Buccaneers since the start of the season is currently back at training, but they are closely monitoring his shoulder injury ahead of the club’s encounter against Baroka FC at the Orlando Stadium this evening (Thursday).

“I’m happy that Lorch has started training with the team but we’re still cautious because he has some processes he must go through. Lorch is back. He had a shoulder injury. You know there are these shoulders that come out and go back,” said Ncikazi during an SABC radio station interview earlier this week.

“I had the same injury in my days, sometimes it heals on its own but based on the recommendation of our medical team, it was important that he does the surgery so that it doesn’t happen again. So, one, we are avoiding contact with him, especially now. He’s playing but we make him a neutral so that he avoids contact as much as possible,” added Ncikazi.

Ncikazi hopes Lorch will be back to full fitness before the Christmas break and says they are awaiting advice from the Bucs medical team.

“It looks promising and it looks positive. I am hoping and wishing that he should be back soon. I wish he is back tomorrow but we have to wait for medical advice. He has started training, partially, he’s not going full contact,” the coach added.

“And I am hopeful that before the end of December, we’d love to see him playing to the best of his ability.”

Lorch’s return would be a big boost for Pirates, knowing the winger’s influence in the team’s play.