Mamelodi Sundowns’ preseason preparations have hit a snag with star defender Ricardo Nascimento having undergone the knife.
The Tshwane giants are currently in camp having recently concluded their stay in Nelspruit, before heading off to Botswana and Democratic Republic of Congo, respectively.
However, Nascimento is not part of the team’s preparations after sustaining a groin injury, and according to coach Pitso Mosimane, he is likely to be out for a while.
“Ricardo is going through an operation and it’ll take him a little bit longer,” Mosimane was quoted as saying by Daily Sun.
“It’s the same challenge he had on the left leg groin and now it’s on the right leg. He was looking good, but it’ll take him some time to heal. Ricardo will be out for some time.
The injury to the central defender will come as a major blow to Sundowns' plans.
The 32-year-old was a constant figure in Sundowns’ triumphant campaign, having made 25 league appearances, but with his absence, Mosimane is likely to look to Mosa Lebusa, Wayne Arendse or Rivaldo Coetzee, among others.
Meanwhile, the 54-year-old has also confirmed Gaston Sirino also had to leave camp after picking up an injury.
“Gaston got injured and we sent him to Joburg to have the injury attended to and see what we can get,” Mosimane explained.
It now remains to be seen what the extent of his injury.
Sundowns are set to take on TP Mazembe and Don Bosco later this month, with their first league game of the new season set to be against cross-town rivals SuperSport United on August 3.
The Brazilians have made just one new signing so far, having brought on board Uruguayan Mauricio Affonso.