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NEW YORK RED BULLS

March 24, 2011
HAMSTRUNG
Henry rules himself out of Crew game


Thierry Henry: "I don't think I will make the game. Not great news."
Thierry Henry: "I don't think I will make the game. Not great news."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
By Michael Lewis
BigAppleSoccer.com Editor

MONTCLAIR, N.J. -- Red Bulls captain and striker Thierry Henry, who strained his left hamstring in the season-opening win, Thursday ruled himself out of Saturday's game at the Columbus Crew.

Henry said he was feeling "not great."

"I don't think I will make the game. Not great news," Henry said at Montclair State University. "

Red Bulls coach Hans Backe said he was hopeful that Henry would be able to start training on Monday. Backe said that Henry "can run, but not the explosive runs."

"My body is not responding well," Henry said. "Maybe hopefully I will be back for the game against Houston."

The Red Bulls host the Houston Dynamo on April 2.

Henry realized his absence was going to further hinder the Red Bulls, who have six players on international duty this weekend, which includes four starters and the other forward, Juan Agudelo.

"We have a lot of players out of the games because of the international games," he said. "It's going to have to be what it has to be. The boss is going to have to fill a team with the players that we have. That's the way it is during a season. You need everybody to be involved. That's how it's going to be in Columbus."

Backe said he was considering using a midfielder up top, first-round draft choice Corey Hertzog and even start and play newcomer Luke Rodgers, who has been hampered with injuries, for as much as 45 minutes.

Henry noted the team had suffered eight or nine hamstring-related injuries since the pre-season.

"We have a lot of players during the pre-season who had some problems with the hamstring," he said. "I don't know what it is. But we keep on having some hamstring problems."

Asked if he had any theories why Henry replied, "I don't know. I'm not the fitness coach, so I don't know. We've been doing what we've been told and that's eight-nine hamstrings in three weeks. Some of the guys had it in pre-season. Fortunately for me I had it after the first game."

Backe said five or six players have had hamstring issues this year. He mentioned defenders Roy Miller and Danleigh Borman, defender-midfielder Jan Gunnar Solli and midfielder Marcos Paullo. Henry said that rookie midfielder Matt Kassel has had hamstring problems as well.

"It's not strains, but its tight muscles, tight hamstrings," Backe said. "It's been definitely too many of them absolutely. During the last four weeks, at least five six guys have tight hamstrings. We have to check that, definitely.

"We have to sit down and find out why we're getting that tight hamstrings. It's difficult to find one piece or what it can be."

Henry, who played the full game against the Seattle Sounders FC, second-guessed himself in not taking himself out of the match.

"I think it should have been better for me to leave the field when I did it after eight minutes into the game," he said. "But you're at the stadium, you're playing kind of difficult to leave the field."

Now, the former French international isn't pushing coming back too soon.

"After you come back to the right thing to do, you need to protect your body and see how it's going to go and try to not pull it," he said. "It's better to miss a game than a month."

Henry said he has had hamstring problems before in his career.

Asked if age was catching up to him, the 33-year-old striker replied, "Well, that's a stupid question. I just told you before that it happened to me before. Matt Kassel is [21-years-old] and he got it at the beginning of pre-season. It is what it is."
 
 
 
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