February 26, 2021

Kaizer Chiefs striker Castro leaves the bio-bubble

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The lanky marksman has left the Amakhosi camp as he cannot recover in time to finish the campaign with his teammates

Kaizer Chiefs striker Leonardo Castro has been ruled out for the remainder of the season with a hamstring injury. 

The Colombian marksman injured himself during Amakhosi’s 1-1 draw against Stellenbosch FC last weekend and had to be replaced by Samir Nurkovic in the first half.   

He was set to undergo a late fitness test ahead of the match against Mamelodi Sundowns but he failed it, forcing the medical team to advise Ernst Middendorp and his technical team not risk him in the remaining three matches of the season. 

Chiefs, who were defeated 1-0 by Mamelodi Sundowns in Thursday’s top-of-the-table clash, confirmed the news about Castro’s injury in a statement.

“Leonardo Castro won’t play either, as the Colombian is nursing a hamstring strain,” read the statement. “He has since left the bubble and will not take part in the remaining matches of the current season.” 

Ernst Middendorp also confirmed that Castro will not take part in any of the club’s upcoming matches.  

“As I said earlier, Castro has left the bubble. He’s struggling with a hamstring injury,” Middendorp told the media. “So, his season is over.” 

The injury to Castro is undoubtedly a massive blow to Amakhosi’s title dreams given his immense contribution this season. 

He scored seven league goals in 16 appearances for the Naturena-based side prior to his injury setback. 

Middendorp will now have to improvise in the striking department as Castro formed a deadly partnership with Nurkovic, who missed the clash against Sundowns through suspension. 

However, the Serbian forward is expected to return against the Bidvest Wits this weekend, although it remains to be seen who will join him in attack.

The German mentor has a few options at his disposal with the likes of Lazarous Kambole, Khama Billiat and Lebogang Manyama capable of playing as strikers. 

However, both Billiat and Kambole have struggled in front of goal this season while Manyama played the Sundowns match with a heavily strapped thigh due to a suspected hamstring injury.

Despite losing on Thursday, a result which leaves both they and Sundowns level on 53 points, Chiefs remain in pole position in the title race due to their superior goal difference.