Oft-injured Marquez down again, won't play vs. Portland

Rafa Marquez

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HARRISON, N.J. – Having an empty injury report was good while it lasted for the New York Red Bulls.

Midfielder Rafa Márquez and rookie goalkeeper Ryan Meara are headed back to the trainer’s table after reaggravating their respective knocks, and both are out for this Sunday's match at home against the Portland Timbers (7 pm ET, Galavision).

Márquez revealed on Thursday night via Twitter that he had reinjured his problematic left calf earlier in the week.

“It is a concern of course,” head coach Hans Backe said at Friday's training session. “As I said, when you pick up these calf injuries, it looks like, when we talk to the trainers, that he will be out two, three weeks. Then it takes time to come back if he stays fresh.”

Márquez’s injuries and a pair of suspensions have limited him to just nine games this season. The Designated Player has done fairly well when he has played, but those moments have been too few and far between. He's appeared in just one of the team's past five games, and hasn't played a full 90-minute shift since May 23.

“It hasn’t been many games this year,” Backe said. “He had a quite tough last year, played about 50 percent for us. It’s probably the toughest thing is for the player to pick up these kind of injuries.”

Meara’s hip, meanwhile, continues to prove troublesome despite initially showing signs of progress, but Backe would not label his injury a season-ending one.

The head coach did say, however, that the club will spend some time next week determining the severity of the injury that the rookie has been struggling with since early July.

There was also some good news on the injury front for New York, as starting right back Brandon Barklage participated in full training on Friday, and he has not had any setbacks since recovering from a hamstring problem and returning to training earlier this week.

“He’s available not as a starter,” Backe said, “but definitely can be available for the bench [against Portland].”

Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at Franco8813@gmail.com.