The 27-year-old tasted competitive football for the first time since February after featuring in the final 13 minutes of Sunday’s continental fixture
Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer has stressed the importance of Thembinkosi Lorch’s return from injury but says he is yet to get a clear picture on whether the attacker would be ready to start in next weekend’s Caf Confederation Cup quarter-final, second leg match against Raja Casablanca.
Pirates were held 1-1 by Raja at Orlando Stadium on Sunday, leaving them facing what could be a tall order when they visit the 2018 Confederation Cup champions who grabbed a vital away goal.
The match in Johannesburg marked the return of Lorch who had been out injured since February and he came on as a substitute, replacing Fortune Makaringe and played the last 13 minutes.
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With Pirates needing their best players available for the trip to Casablanca, Zinnbauer says it is important for them that Lorch is back.
“Lorch, we are happy he is back. We know he was out for a long, long time and we are yet to see what happens after the game,” said Zinnbauer as per iDiski Times.
“Tomorrow [we will see] what happened, what is the pain, how he is feeling for the next game. But I cannot say now whether he will be in the starting line-up or on the bench. Important for us is that he is available and that’s good for us.”
With Pirates facing what seems like a tough task when they travel to Raja, Zinnbauer concedes the Moroccans’ away goal places them in an advantageous position going into the second leg.
But the German feels that does not take away the possibility of them also grabbing a goal away from home.
“For us, it would’ve been better to win the home game. It’s also clear that it is an advantage for the opponent that they have scored today,” Zinnbauer said.
“But we also have the possibility of scoring there and if we score there, it won’t be easy for them. They have to score more. I don’t think Casablanca was better than us today. I think there were good levels, it was a tough game.”