From horrific injury to penalty miss! Ex-Kaizer Chiefs midfielder shares his story

TS Galaxy midfielder defied the odds to make a come-back in the South African top-flight injury in April after a horrific double-fracture suffered in October 2023.

The 38-year-old was part of the starting XI team against Mamelodi Sundowns in the Carling Knockout fixture staged at Mbombela Stadium. However, he was stretchered off after just 58 minutes when he broke his leg owing to a reckless Bongani Zungu incident.

It was hard to believe that the former Kaizer Chiefs midfielder would get back playing after that incident. However, six months later, the veteran player was back on the pitch playing, coincidentally, against Masandawana.

Parker explains how he kept his mind active to avoid depression 

Parker underwent corrective surgery to fix his leg, before starting his journey to recovery, “The best decision I made was to get back to my normal daily routine and make sure I didn't give my mind time to manipulate me, and not to fall into depression or overthink,” Parker told the media.

“I would wake up, and do gym exercises, it kept me positive in a way. My studies helped me [as well]. The mind is powerful and without you exercising the mind, the positive signals won’t transfer into the body.”

Ronwen-Williams
Ronwen Williams of South Africa save penalty during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations 3rd place match between South Africa and DR Congo at Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan, Cote dIvoire on 10 February 2024 – Photo by Icon Sport – Photo by Icon Sport

How was it facing Sundowns after recovery & missing a penalty?

Parker was re-introduced on the pitch on April 29 -against the Brazilians, when he replaced Samir Nurkovic in the added minutes after the end of regulation time. With the Rockets trailing 3-0 in that particular Premier Soccer League, Downs conceded a penalty, but Parker failed to beat Ronwen Williams from 12 yards.

“Making that recovery in six months, and coming back against the team where the injury happened, I was more excited,” Parker recalled.

“There were no mixed emotions, I was just excited to be back on the field of play. I took that penalty against the best goalkeeper on the continent, the keeper who won the Golden Glove at [2023 Africa Cup of Nations].

“I was just happy and excited to be back on the field of play,” he concluded.

The Rockets are contemplating introducing Parker to a technical bench role when he decides to retire from active football.

From horrific injury to penalty miss! Ex-Kaizer Chiefs midfielder shares his story
Willis Sob

Willis Sob is an experienced journalist who has been in the game since 2009, covering major assignments around the continent.
His hunger for African football is unmatched, always getting the best angles and facts to feed the fans and quench their thirst.