South Africa’s Thembi Kgatlana has been ruled out of the rest of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations after rupturing her Achilles tendon.
The 26-year-old sustained the injury during Sunday’s 1-0 Group C win over Botswana, and could be out for more than six months.
Atletico Madrid striker Kgatlana was both top scorer and player of the tournament at the WAFCON in 2018 as Banyana Banyana finished runners-up.
South Africa team doctor Dr Rodney Mokoka said:
A MRI scan confirmed the complete rupture and unfortunately she’ll be out for the whole tournament.
She’s due for an operation back in South Africa. A comprehensive rehabilitation programme will be in place for her.
She will start jogging around 12-16 weeks and will return to contact sport after 20-24 weeks.
Kgatlana, the Confederation of African Football’s Women’s Player of The Year in 2019, is the third big-name player to be ruled out of the rest of the WAFCON finals in Morocco.
Zambia striker Barbra Banda missed out because of gender eligibility issues while Nigeria forward Asisat Oshoala has suffered a knee injury.
South Africa won all three group matches and will face Tunisia in the quarter-finals on Thursday.