Thierry Henry returns to practice field, but New York Red Bulls noncommittal about status vs. Union

Thierry Henry and Brandon McDonald in the snow

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USA Today sports

The New York Red Bulls returned to the practice field on Tuesday ahead of their Saturday match with rivals the Philadelphia Union, and so did Thierry Henry.

After missing New York’s 1-0 loss to the Montreal Impact this past weekend because of a left MCL sprain, Henry was back in training on Tuesday morning as the winless Red Bulls began their preparations for their second home game of the season.

After the session, head coach Mike Petke did not say whether the club’s captain would be eligible to start or even play on Saturday vs. the Union. But he admitted he liked the progress he saw from Henry.

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“He looked good,” Petke said via a conference call. “Of course, there’s some tenderness and discomfort [but] we like where he’s at early in the week. [He was] competing in full training with certain times a little bit of limited mobility, but we like where he’s at right now.“

One player who seems all but certain to start against the Union is Jámison Olave. The Colombian center back was also absent in the defeat in Montreal, but Petke stated that was a precaution because of the turf field at Olympic Stadium.

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“It was a situation that how his knee reacted to the turf in [the season opener vs. the Portland Timbers] and it was advised by the medical staff not to play him on turf,” said Petke. “It’s a long season and why risk losing him now? We went with the medical advice, which I trust, and that’s why he didn’t play.”

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