Cape Town - Itumeleng Khune admits he is going through a frustrating period on the side-lines and knows he will have a battle to get the number-one jersey back in the national side.
When fit Khune is undoubtedly the first-choice keeper for the national team but is currently out injured having suffered a shoulder dislocation that required surgery.
The Kaizer Chiefs shot-stopper will be out until May and recently watched on as Darren Keet produced a magnificent display between the sticks to help Bafana Bafana beat Libya 2-1 on Sunday - ensuring qualification to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Khune could be back for the continental competition that starts on June 21 in Egypt but knows that he faces a battle to regain a starting berth in the national team.
In quotes published in KickOff website, Khune said: "It's a frustrating period of my career, but what can I do? I just have to support the guys. I've been part of the team and I'm still part of the team.
"And I'm proud of the boys. It is a frustrating period, but I will pull through.
"It's always great to have all the departments competing and keeping each other on our toes. That we will leave to the coach."
Khune also backed Keet to retain the number-one jersey heading into the finals.
The Chiefs keeper continued: "I still have to get back on the field and will have to work twice as hard to win my number-one jersey back, but Darren Keet did extremely well, and I wouldn't be surprised if he keeps the jersey for the longest period of time.
"Because I've also travelled that journey of being no 1 for over 10 years in the national team, and right now it shows the guys really want this jersey.
"The competition is what I like, and I welcome it with open arms."