South Africa: Banyana Banyana’s Perfect Africa Cup of Nations Record Soured By Injury to Striker Thembi Kgatlana

Banyana Banyana will have to forge forward without star striker Thembi Kgatlana in pursuit of a maiden Women's Africa Cup of Nations crown. The diminutive forward suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon in the team's final group game.

South Africa's seamless conquering of the Women's Africa Cup of Nations (Wafcon) group stage, following a 1-0 win over Botswana on Sunday, was soured by a tournament-ending injury to star striker Thembi Kgatlana.

The former Atletico Madrid forward — who recently signed for the US side Racing Louisville — sustained a ruptured Achilles tendon in Banyana Banyana's Group C match against neighbours Botswana and had to be stretchered off the pitch in the 69th minute.

After undergoing an MRI scan, the extent of the injury was confirmed on Monday.

"Thembi Kgatlana sustained a complete rupture of the left Achilles tendon against Botswana, which was confirmed by the MRI scan this morning. Unfortunately, she will be out for the whole Wafcon 2022 tournament. She is due for an operation back home in South Africa," Banyana Banyana physician Rodney Mokoka told on Monday.

"Post-operation healing will be guided by certain milestones that we have to achieve. Of course, a comprehensive functional rehabilitation programme will…

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