With just one day to go before they play AmaZulu in the MTN8 final, Orlando Pirates are sweating over the fitness of their captain Innocent Maela.

The 30-year-old limped off against Kaizer Chiefs in the Soweto derby, with his hamstring an issue of concern at the time.

Earlier this week, Maela had told journalists that he was feeling optimistic over his chances of featuring in Saturday’s final.

However, speaking at the final press briefing ahead of the sold-out affair at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, Pirates assistant coach Mandla Ncikazi says there are concerns over a number of Pirates players’ fitness, including Maela.

“There (are) a few players who are touch and go, they are still on the medical table, [Innocent] Maela is one of them, so based on what happened yesterday and today with the medical team, we are not sure,” Ncikazi told journalists.

“Maybe the call will be made on his health. If he’s good, he will lead the team, if he’s not, some other players will be there to take his position. That’s the team that we are.”

The likes of Paseka Mako, could slot in if Maela is not available, although Pirates will be hoping to have their strongest possible XI on the field if they are to lift their first trophy since 2020.


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