The Bafana Bafana defender suffered a setback earlier this month during the club’s 2-1 defeat to Golden Arrows in an Absa Premiership fixture played on an extremely poor pitch at the Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu.

After landing awkwardly on his knee, Mphahlele looked set to be sidelined for up to two months. The club is still to confirm his injury period, however.

In his absence Chiefs have turned to Kgotso Moleko, who is the only other natural right back at Naturena.

Mphahlele, 28, will be eager to return back to action to not only help Amakhosi end their trophy drought but to fight for his place in the national team as they edge closer to qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations next year.

The former Mamelodi Sundowns skipper had started all of Bafana’s qualifiers until the goalless draw against Nigeria last month at FNB Stadium.

Thamsanqa Mkhize was selected ahead of him for tactical reasons and Mphahlele returned to the line-up a few days later in the friendly match against Paraguay at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Chiefs’ opening fixture for 2019 is at home against Sundowns, but Mphahlele isn’t expected back until sometime in February.