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Fielies suffers setback in recovery

Cape Town City central defender Taariq Fielies has suffered a setback in his recovery from appendicitis following a botched operation.

Initially, Fielies was supposed to only be out for a few months, but his stay on the sidelines has now been prolonged after a surgery gone wrong at a state hospital in Cape Town.

It will give coach Benni McCarthy even more headaches after the City tactician admitted last week that the club had a lack of depth in the centre-back position, something which he wants to remedy in the transfer market.

Kouassi Kouadja and Keanu Cupido are both sidelined with injuries themselves, which leaves Belgian under-21 international Keith Groeneveld, whom City signed from Standard Liege in April, as the only fit option in the position in the squad, but he is only 19 and still vastly inexperienced.

City chairman John Comitis confirmed the news and said that if Fielies had only let the club know about the problem earlier, this could have all been avoided.

"Only when he went back to Groote Schuur hospital due to the malfunction did he tell us about his situation," Comitis told KickOff.

"I then moved him to Christiaan Barnard [private hospital] for a full evaluation, he was there for four days. After they managed to put him on the recovery we moved him back to Groote Schuur for the rehabilitation."

Comitis wants his players to know that his door is always open and they can come to him with any problems, while admitting that the setback is a significant blow for the club, who are still seeking their maiden Absa Premiership title.

"We need to help and support and the team needs him asap. I think this will take about three to four months. Yes, he is a big loss for the team. We’re also continuing the ongoing recovery of Keano [Cupido] and Kouassi [Kouadja].," said Comitis.

The Citizens get their Absa Premiership campaign underway with a trip to face Baroka at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium on August 3.