Injury likely to force Fabian Espindola to miss New York Red Bulls’ vital match vs. Houston Dynamo

New York Red Bulls awesome dude Fabian Espindola

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So much for having a healthy front line.

The New York Red Bulls seem likely to be without forward Fabian Espindola for their crucial road match against the Houston Dynamo on Sunday (4 pm ET; UniMas) thanks to an injury suffered in training earlier this week.

Espindola has not officially been ruled out of the match that New York will likely need to win in order to continue to have control of their own destiny in the race for the Supporters' Shield, but it sure seems that way judging from head coach Mike Petke’s words after practice on Friday.

“Fabian took a knock, a pretty bad knock in practice earlier this week.” said Petke of the Argentine veteran, who did not train on Friday. “He's recovering. I'm not sure if he'll be available this weekend or not.”

The injury to Espindola comes in a week that saw forward Bradley Wright-Phillips return to full training after being shelved recently due to a hamstring issue. Wright-Phillips would seem like a natural replacement for Espindola for Sunday’s sold-out match at BBVA Compass Stadium, but it is more probable that Peguy Luyindula is partnered with Thierry Henry at the start of the game seeing as how Wright-Phillips just returned to training a few days ago.

"I think he can play 90, but that doesn't mean he'll start or play," said Petke. "He's coming back from weeks off. We're figuring out what the best course of action to go for this game is.”

Two other players who should be in the Red Bulls’ lineup in Houston are Tim Cahill and David Carney. The duo recently returned from international duty with Australia, but that likely will not stop them from resuming their starting roles.

"I think it's a massive game for us because of what it means for the league table and our football club," said Cahill. "I'm ready as I can be and I've been away with the Australian team and now looking [forward] to the Houston game."

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