Bucs Happy as Jele returns from injury
ORLANDO Pirates and former Bafana Bafana right back Happy Jele is ready to put up a big fight to reclaim his position in the starting line-up.
The lanky Jele has fully recovered from a career-threatening knee injury and is expected back in action for Pirates in three weeks' time.
Jele damaged an anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments and tore the meniscus during a game against Wits in Mbombela in November.
"I have been training with the senior team [and] do not feel pain any more. Everything is going well and I'm ready to fight to get back in the starting line-up," he said.
"The team has been doing well winning trophies. I am fully behind coach Augusto Palacios and the technical staff. I'm prepared to wait for my turn.
"It has been frustrating not playing for such a long time but what kept me going is that our team won the second successive treble last season. I will continue training hard to remain in great shape."
Palacios said he was impressed by Jele's work rate.
"Happy has been doing ball work at training. He is in great shape and will be ready to start playing in three weeks' time.
"We will give him a match very soon to build his confidence, maybe late in the second half. We're not going to rush him."
Palacios said they were keeping their fingers crossed for midfielder Oupa Manyisa to be declared fully fit for Friday night's opening Premiership match against Golden Arrows at Orlando Stadium at 8pm.
"Ace [Manyisa] did not train with us this morning. We're worried but remain positive for him to play on Friday."
Manyisa dislocated an elbow in the MTN8 match against Bloemfontein Celtic on Friday.