May 21, 2012
END OF THE INJURY BUG?
Henry, Wilman, Marquez could be back for Chivas on Wednesday
By Kristian R. Dyer
|Depending on how he fares during practice on Tuesday, Thierry Henry could be back in the Red Bulls lineup on Wednesday night.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
BigAppleSoccer.com Contributing Editor
UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. - The worst of an injury bug that saw nearly half of the Red Bulls first choice starting XI hobbling around the past few weeks appears to be over.
Ahead of hosting Chivas USA on Wednesday night at Red Bull Arena, coach Hans Backe likely will get three starters back from injury. Forward Thierry Henry, second on the team with nine goals this season, will be joined by midfielder Rafa Marquez and defender Wilman Conde. All are eyeing time on the pitch very soon.
Monday’s heavy rains and a water logged practice field at Montclair State University derailed Backe’s plans to get the injured players training again. All three, however, did practice last week.
“Wilman will be available. Unfortunately with the weather and too much water on the pitch, we couldn’t test Thierry. We’ll do that tomorrow. I can’t say yes or no,” Backe said.
“Wilman is definitely available 100 percent.”
The inclusion of Conde is a boost to a defense that has three shutouts over the past five games, their only three of the season. Conde, who has played only twice this season, wasn’t on the field for any of the goose eggs and Backe doesn’t foresee his injury-plagued central defender playing the full match against Chivas USA.
“No chance, he can’t play 90; could be bench. If you start him, you never know when they’re coming back if he can 45 or 60,” Backe said.
“We also have the option to wait for the Open Cup games for him. Can put him on the bench we’ll see tomorrow.”
Marquez, who most recently put in a lackluster effort on May 13 in a 3-2 win at Philadelphia, missed Saturday’s match in Montreal with an Achilles injury. On Thursday, Backe had termed it a “soft injury” but then backtracked on Friday, ruling the player out of the Impact game.
Wednesday seems to be a go for a player who has been mediocre at best this season. Backe didn’t want to rush Marquez back last weekend, especially given the field conditions at Olympic Stadium.
“It’s frustrating as always when you have Achilles or ankles injury with the pain,” he said.
“It doesn’t help with the turf too and the worst pitch worldwide in Montreal.”