Bafana Bafana midfielder Keagan Dolly believes he will be ready for the Africa Cup of Nations should he be called up for national duty by head coach Stuart Baxter.
Dolly was out of action for seven months of the Ligue 1 season and missed out on Bafana's AFCON qualifiers upon suffering a leg fracture in September 2018.
The 26-year-old has played a prominent role in the national team but the Montpellier winger has been tipped as a doubt having to still play a game for the first team.
“When I got back from my broken fibula, I had another minor setback when I felt a little pain in my calf muscle because of the plate in my leg, which kept me out for another three weeks,” Dolly told KickOff.
“So, the healing process took a little longer than expected but I came back and played a game or two with the reserve team before I went to Bafana camp [in March].
“And then, in my first training session with Bafana, I pulled my hamstring, which meant I was out for another three weeks. I came back and played another game for the reserves two weeks ago before we had a week off.
“This past weekend, I played 90 minutes with the reserves and I got an assist as we won 4-2, which was a nice confidence booster.”
Asked whether it is a concern that he has yet to feature in the highly competitive first team, Dolly assured that he has learned his lesson in trying to rush his return and explains what the first team manager expects from him.
“The first team needs me to get more game-time and they feel I’ve missed out on a lot of football, so it’s just right that I play with the reserves first,” he explains.
“So, it’s better than I get the minutes in instead of going to the first team, sit on the bench and maybe get 10-15 minutes, which won’t help me much.
“The plan is to try and get back in the first team before the season ends, but I feel another 90 minutes with the reserves will do me well and hopefully I can join them for the last two games.
“I initially put myself under pressure at the last Bafana camp and overworked myself, especially in the first training session, which is why I picked up the injury.
“So, now I’m trying just to take it one game and a time and not to push myself too much so that I don’t get another minor injury before the AFCON.”
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