March 19, 2013
Mild MCL sprain sidelines Henry from Impact match
By Michael Lewis
|The Red Bulls hope Thierry Henry will miss only the game in Montreal.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
The Red Bulls will have none of their Designated Players for Saturday's game at the Montreal Impact when it was announced on Tuesday that team captain and striker Thierry Henry has been sidelined with a mild MCL sprain of his left knee.
Henry underwent an MRI scan on Monday. He is believed to have suffered the injury late in the Red Bulls' scoreless draw with D.C. United last Saturday.
The Red Bulls are hopeful Henry will be available for their March 30 home match against the Philadelphia Union.
The team's other DP, midfielder Tim Cahill, also will miss the game. He is on international duty with Australia in a key World Cup qualifier against Oman in Sydney.
Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke admitted he considered resting Henry, given the history of his Achilles' tendon and that the Impact's home field at Olympic Stadium is artificial turf.
"Thierry is someone who always wants to play," he said. "It is one of those things that I was seriously leaning toward not even bringing him to Montreal. But no decision was final yet. We still had a week fro the D.C. game to the next game. It was a little setback with Thierry and his knee. It shouldn't be too serious. But this is very ideal for me not to have him play on turf, with his Achilles tendon. Not ideally how it worked out, but it did work out that I will rest him this weekend."
Petke's options to replace Henry and team with Fabian Espindola include Peguy Luyindula, who signed with the club on Tuesday, although he is awaiting his P-1 visa, Home Grown product Amando Moreno and Costa Rican forward Josue Martinez.
"Hopefully, Peguy will be back with his visa," Petke said, adding that it could happen prior to this weekend.
Luyindula has gotten "his fitness up where we like it," Petke said.
"A guy like Amando Moreno, who while he is young, has shown glimpses here and there," Petke said. "Josue Martinez has been doing well, has been showing some promise during training. so we do have a couple options to fill in up there. Or we can possibly go with a lone striker. It depends on how we want to play."
The winless Red Bulls (0-1-2, two points) will face the unbeaten Impact (3-0-0, nine) will be missing three players for the back as left back Roy Miller is with the Costa Rican National Team for World Cup qualifying.
"Playing on an international date in a tough place like Montreal, which is 3-0 without key players poses an interesting scenario for us," Petke said. "I think the we have the depth and the backbone for the guys to step in.
"There is no way a situation that we're thinking to go in there and put 11 behind the ball, 30 yards from our goal. That would be disrespectful to the players that I feel we have waiting in the wings. We're going to go in with the mindset that this is a good opponent that we are hoping to disrupt a little bit and get some sort of result."
Midfielder Juninho should be ready to play this weekend, Petke said. Juninho, sidelined from the San Jose match with a calf injury, came off the bench in the 68th minute of the scoreless tie with D.C. United.
Juninho should and will be available this weekend," Petke said. "Whether he plays or not, he will be available. He is eager to keep going and keep playing."