Kaizer Chiefs coach Arthur Zwane is crossing his fingers that Mduduzi Shabalala did not sustain a long-term injury when he was fouled by Travis Graham in the Nedbank Cup last 32 match against Maritzburg United at Harry Gwala Stadium on Friday night.

Shabalala, who is very nippy and a diminutive player who can easily lose markers just like former Chiefs star winger Jabu Mahlangu, received a very high tackle from Graham in the centre circle – which led to Graham receiving a second booking.

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He looked gingerly afterwards and Zwane took him off just before the second half got underway, replacing him with another youngster – Wandile Duba.

Whether Zwane was trying to prevent the injury from being aggravated or the player truly got a serious injury remains to be seen, but Zwane thought it was the best decision to replace him.

“I think Mdu got a knock on his thigh so I don’t know at the moment (his situation), I will wait for the medical team to give me the report,” said Zwane after the game.

“We will actually know about it – the extent of the injury maybe on Sunday or Monday because we will be doing regeneration back home when we arrive in Johannesburg and doctors, the medical team will give us the report we need.”

It has been a tough season for Chiefs in the hospital ward, with Nkosingiphile Ngcobo seen on crutches on the sidelines of the game in Pietermaritzburg.

The 23-year-old went for the surgery, leaving Zwane saying “we have never had such a situation in the team and it is quite disturbing” as it is expected he will be out for a long time.

Other players who are out injured are Khama Billiat and he too has gone for the surgery and won’t play anymore this season.

Reeve Frosler went for an operation and is out for six weeks. Caleb-Bonfils Bimenyimana survived what could have been a career ending tackle against TS Galaxy last weekend when Marks Monyai ran through his leg.

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Chiefs shook off Shabalala’s second half substitution, but were taken to extra-time by a resilient Team of Choice. However, they finally made their numerical advantage count when Christian Saile and Ashley du Preez scored in extra-time to win the game and lead Chiefs into the round of 16.

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