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Colorado Rapids' Dillon Powers expects to play against Portland Timbers, Clint Irwin still in doubt

Powers and Sam in NYvCOL

Photo Credit: 
USA TODAY Sports

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – It looked bad. Really bad.

But fortunately for Dillon Powers and the Colorado Rapids, Powers’ bloodied head, suffered in the second half of a 1-1 draw with the New York Red Bulls last Saturday, was nothing more than a cut. Most importantly, there has been no recurrence of the concussion symptoms Powers suffered at the end of last season.

“Of course it would happen in [my] first game back,” said Powers, who missed the final four games of last season due to a concussion suffered on October 5. “It was just too much [blood] to come back on.”

The Rapids training staff used three staples to close the gash on Powers' head, opened when he collided with New York's Armando in the 62nd minute.

The reigning MLS Rookie of the Year was substituted off shortly afterwards, but despite the injury’s initially gruesome appearance, Powers said he is not experiencing any lingering effects. Although still not fully match-fit due to lingering knee tendonitis, Powers expects to play on Saturday in Colorado’s home opener against the Portland Timbers (6 pm ET, MLS Live).

“I imagine I would’ve been off fairly soon afterwards,” said Powers, who subbed off in the 65th minute on Saturday. “I felt pretty good while I was out there. Nothing that stood out to me like, ‘I can’t do this.’ So that was a good sign for me.”

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Clint Irwin, who missed last Saturday's season opener with a right quad injury, did not practice fully on Wednesday. He participated in some drills but remains unable to fully strike goal kicks, and he faces another race against time to be ready for the home opener.

“I’m progressing,” Irwin told MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday. “I’m not exactly sure right now [about playing on Saturday]. I’m hopeful. It just depends on how things progress this week.”

If Irwin cannot play, rookie John Berner, who played solidly in Irwin’s place on Saturday, would likely fill in once again, with the older Joe Nasco, also in his first year in MLS, the backup.

Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.