SPORTS DAY: Fresh legs for Bafana as injuries pile up

Sport

SPORTS DAY: Fresh legs for Bafana as injuries pile up

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

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SOCCER
Injury woes mount for Baxter
Bafana Bafana will almost certainly have to do without new Strasbourg centre-forward Lebogang Mothiba for their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Libya at Moses Mabhida on Saturday. Strasbourg – the club Mothiba joined from fellow Ligue 1 team Lille last week for a reported R135m – have informed Bafana coach Stuart Baxter that the big striker has a hamstring tear. The Mamelodi Sundowns pair of midfielder Hlompho Kekana and winger Themba Zwane‚ and Amiens SC midfielder Bongani Zungu‚ have already withdrawn injured. They have been replaced by SuperSport United midfielder Maphosa Modiba‚ Orlando Pirates winger Vincent Pule, and Sundowns midfielder Tiyani Mabunda. 
No Messi as Ronaldo, Salah and Modric nominated
Lionel Messi was left off the shortlist for the Fifa men’s player of the year award on Monday as his old rival Cristiano Ronaldo was named alongside Luka Modric and Mohamed Salah. Messi has dominated the award along with Ronaldo over the past decade, but the Barcelona star has been omitted from the list of contenders after featuring in the top three for 11 straight years.
Ronaldo buys majority stake in La Liga side
Former Brazil striker Ronaldo has become the majority stakeholder in Spanish La Liga team Real Valladolid after buying 51% of the club from president Carlos Suarez. The former Barcelona and Real Madrid forward paid around €30m, according to Spanish media reports.
RUGBY
Kolbe set for Test debutAlthough Cheslin Kolbe was not part of the Springboks preseason camps and only joined the squad in Brisbane on Monday‚ the diminutive utility back is set for a Test debut against Australia this weekend. Kolbe‚ 24‚ who plays for Toulouse in the French Top 14‚ might be deployed on the wing for his Test debut as Bok coach Rassie Erasmus still looks for a solution in the absence of the injured Sbu Nkosi.
Folau still a doubt
Australia fullback Israel Folau rates himself only a “50-50” chance to line up against SA in the Rugby Championship in Brisbane on Saturday as he races to recover from an ankle injury. He said he still needed to pass fitness tests. “At this stage I’d say it’s 50-50. I’ve only had one run on Friday,” Folau said on Monday. “I guess I’ll know more as the week goes on.”
Du Preez to have surgery after injuring larynx
Worcester Warriors loose forward Cornell du Preez, the SA-born Scotland international, is stable but will require further surgery after injuring his larynx in Saturday’s 21-20 defeat by Wasps, the English Premiership club said. He was taken to hospital immediately after the incident amid concerns that he had fractured his voice box, which could affect his breathing.
TENNIS
Serena hopes to raise more trophies and kidsMore trophies and children are hopefully in Serena Williams future, said tennis’s most famous working mother, adding that she has a new appreciation about how difficult it is to raise both. A day after celebrating her daughter Alexis Olympia’s first birthday, Williams had a little celebration for herself on Sunday, securing a place in the US Open quarterfinals with a three-set win over Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi to leave her on track for a record equalling 24th career Grand Slam. Williams conceded that she had expected to be back at her best sooner but learned quickly that her life has changed forever and along with that the way she must approach the sport. “I was just living in this world where I thought it would just automatically come together,” said Williams, who is just seven events into her comeback that began in March in Indian Wells. “I think society puts it out there that you’ll just kind of snap back and that’s just a myth.”
CRICKET
Domingo wants answers
It’s the curse of teams like South Africa A that few outside their dressing room remember they exist. Until‚ that is‚ they perform poorly. And perform poorly SA A did on the tour of India that ended last week‚ winning only one of their six matches. Now their coach‚ Russell Domingo‚ wants to shine a light on how the team that is supposed to provide the next generation of senior internationals can better give a better account of themselves.
Cook to retire from international cricket
Alastair Cook announced on Monday he would retire from international cricket after the fifth Test against India, with England’s leading Test run-scorer saying he had “nothing left in the tank”.  The 33-year-old Essex left-hander has amassed 12,254 runs at 44.88 including 32 hundreds, while his run of 158 consecutive Test appearances is a world record.
Indian media bemoan ‘spineless’ cricketers
Decrying a “meek surrender” and “heartbreak” defeat, Indian newspapers said on Monday that Virat Kohli’s world No1 Test side had only themselves to blame for their series defeat in England. “The cherished dream of staging one of the greatest comebacks in modern cricket history could so easily have been fulfilled but some spineless batting saw Kohli’s men crashing to another series loss away from home,” the mass-circulation Times of India wrote.
MOTOR SPORT
Teenager to replace Vandoorne at McLaren
British teenager Lando Norris will race for McLaren in F1 next year, with Stoffel Vandoorne leaving at the end of the season, the team said on Monday. The move means McLaren will start next season with an all-new line-up. Double world champion Fernando Alonso has already announced his departure, with fellow Spaniard Carlos Sainz coming in from Renault. The 18-year-old Norris has been McLaren’s reserve driver and took part in his first practice sessions in Belgium and Italy this season.
- AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE

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