Kaizer Chiefs captain Itumeleng Khune has admitted that the absence of star forward Khama Billiat can be felt as fears of his unavailability for this weekend’s clash against Orlando Pirates grow.

Billiat missed the Telkom Knockout clash against Black Leopards on Sunday due to a back injury sustained in during the international break.

“Khama Billiat is our key player and yes we’ve got a lot of great players, but whenever a key player is missed on the day, somewhere, somehow you find out and see the difference,” Khune told Kick-Off.

“And we ended up going to extra-time [against Leopards], and I was saying to the guys on the bench that we really needed his presence in the match.”

The Saturday’s game could become Billiat’s first Soweto Derby having joined Amakhosi in August from Mamelodi Sundowns.