September 18, 2012
Marquez hopes to play 90M vs. KC
UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. -- So far, so good for Red Bulls central midfielder Rafa Marquez in his latest injury comeback.
|Rafa Marquez: "During my career I've learned to make decisions on my health to be able to perform well and in this case I was right and I was happy to be able to provide what I am providing to the team at this point."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
The Mexican international started his first Major League Soccer game in exactly two months on Saturday, the Red Bulls' 3-1 home win over the Columbus Crew, and Marquez certainly acquitted himself well.
Now he has another goal, albeit a small one: to hopefully play 90 minutes against Sporting Kansas City at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.
"I've been approaching this with small steps and small steps at a time," Marquez said through a translator after Red Bulls practice at Montclair State University on Tuesday. "Obviously I was two months out. Tomorrow I will see if I can go the full 90. If I can, I definitely will"
Marquez felt the way he played before he was replaced by Teemu Tainio in the 60th minute validates his decision to take time and travel to Mexico during his rehab from a calf injury was correct.
"During my career I've learned to make decisions on my health to be able to perform well and in this case I was right and I was happy to be able to provide what I am providing to the team at this point," he said.
Asked if this was the healthiest he felt this year, Marquez said the jury was still out because he admitted he was not in full shape.
"I've still coming out of the injury," he said. "I don't think I am at 100 percent. But I am feeling [better]."
Like it or not, Marquez has been the center of much criticism from the media and fans during his Red Bulls career, including much this season due to his injuries and suspensions.
For Marquez it has been like water off a duck's back.
"I don't think about that," he said. "As long as I can perform on the field. What the media and fans say about it, that's a separate area. I focus on what I can perform and I what I can provide to our team."
And so far so good with his partnership with Australian international Tim Cahill at center midfielder. Marquez said he felt comfortable playing alongside the former Everton player.
"He is a person who has had a long career, a lot of experience," Marquez said. "Personally, he gives me a lot more confidence to be in the midfield. I felt it was great."