In the CAF Champions League on Friday, Sundowns clinched a 1-0 win over Al Hilal Omdurman, with Pavol Safranko and Gaston Sirino initially displaying great combinations upfront.
However, there was a lengthy stoppage towards the halfway mark of the first half as Sirino suffered an injury that required him to be stretchered off, with Thapelo Morena introduced to replace the attacker.
Sundowns have now provided a statement on Sirino:
“Gaston Sirino suffered a nasal fracture in the first half of yesterday’s match and was stabilised before being transferred to the Netcare Fancrest Hospital, in Rustenburg, for assessment. He was released in time to travel back home with the rest of the team.
“Gaston will undergo a surgical procedure today. We all wish Gaston a speedy recovery and we will provide further updates from the medical team.”
It comes a time when rumours have suggested Sirino was looking at an exit from Sundowns after a period where his game time has been limited.
Both Orlando Pirates and Al Ahly were reportedly linked with a move for the Uruguayan, but Sundowns haven’t appeared interested in releasing the 30-year-old.
The recent addition of Bradley Ralani and the anticipated arrival of Erwin Saveerda could have seen the door opened for Sirino to exit, but co-head coach Maqoba Mngqithi has explained why this isn’t the case.
“The club doesn’t have a problem letting anyone go, he is a very important player. He is a very good player and he is showing all the signs that he wants to get back and play now. I believe he is going to come back stronger.”
Earlier this month, former international Linda Buthelezi expressed his view that it was time Sundowns accepted the exit of Sirino.
“It’s difficult for a player to bounce back if he is not on good terms with the other players,” Buthelezi added.
“At a stage, I experienced something similar at Sundowns during Ted Dumitru’s era.
“With the likes of Kenny Niemach and Augustine Makalakalane, I was no longer happy, so there’s no need to stay.
“So this boy’s attitude is not that good anymore, he feels he is not welcome anymore.
“The coaches know they will mess up the team if they select someone the other players no longer like.
“So in this case Sundowns must just allow him to leave, he’s not bringing a good spirit to Sundowns.”