Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp has explained why midfielder Willard Katsande has been left out of the playing squad in the last three games.

Katsande, 33, has not played since coming on as a second-half substitute in the Soweto derby last month. He did not feature in the Nedbank cup tie against Magic FC before missing the league games against Polokwane City and Highlands Park.

According to Soccer Laduma, Middendorp says the player is currently struggling with match fitness and will return to the selection once he gets ok.

“We have seen with Leonardo (Castro) that some players need a little bit of time – I thought he was fantastic after moments of not being 100 per cent following our cup game and falling a little bit apart. He is back and is quite into it.

“At the moment it is not about one individual player. The brand, the potential of Chiefs is bigger than one player – everyone has to contribute in the right way,” said the coach.

Middendorp ended off his comments by saying Katsande, if fit and ready, would be considered for the home fixture against Maritzburg United on Saturday.