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August 22, 2014
Petke on the stretch run, Christianson's return, Bustamante, injury update

HANOVER, N.J. -- As the Red Bulls enter the final two months of the regular season, they find themselves playing seven of their final 11 matches at the friendly confines of Red Bull Arena. But head coach Mike Petke warned the team cannot just show up and expect three points if it wants to qualify for the post-season. It has to be earned.

"It depends on how we approach each game," he said. "It depends on if guys are ready to play. Guys turning in performances that we know theyíre obviously capable of, that theyíve done many times this year, or guys, for whatever reason, it doesnít work out and theyíre not ready to play. It depends, you know. We should look at these home games as three points every game. Iím confident that if they show up to play that weíre going to get three points every game."

Entering Saturday's game, the Red Bulls (6-7-10, 28 points) are in fifth place in the Eastern Conference for one of five playoff berths.

Not at practice

Midfielder-defender Bobby Convey and right back Kosuke Kimura did not practice with the team Thursday. Their status for Saturday's game was not known.

Convey was "Not feeling well," said Petke, who added that Kimura picked up "a little bit of a hamstring" for last Friday's reserve game.

"So we're being smart with him," Petke said.

A disappointing end

Midfielder Michael Bustamante's season was cut short by knee surgery. He underwent what was termed a successful procedure Wednesday. Bustamante incurred the injury in practice. "A collision," Petke said. "Knee-to-knee I believe it was and he just twisted it."

Losing Bustamante for the season was "very disappointing," Petke said.

"We had hopes for Bustamante," he said, adding that the team was "definitely looking to fit him in at some point this year [and] the future. We still have hopes for him. He was devastated by the injury. We were very sad for him. These things happen. I told him that itís better that it happens at this age than at 32, 33, when possibly itís ending your career. Heíll bounce back. Heís a tough kid."

Christianson's return

After playing with Orlando City (USL PRO) on loan for almost a month, midfielder Ian Christianson returned to the club Thursday. He suffered a slight suffered a slight calf injury.

Christianson played 189 minutes over three games with the USL PRO team.

"Apparently he did well with the loan," Petke said. He got a little bit of an injury [and] thatís why he came back to rehab with us but heís looking good. I like Ian, we all do, we got him out there to get some games and now heís back with us for the time being. Hopefully he could be an impact player for us whether it be in the Champions League or off the bench.

Petke said he did not know whether Christianson would be available for Tuesday's CCL encounter, which is a not a league game.

"I have to check with that," he said. "I donít know if thereís a rule because we loaned him out to Orlando. I donít know what the rules are as far as that goes but Iíll check with [his] injury status. Iíd love to have him available."

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