Vancouver Whitecaps' Nigel Reo-Coker to miss Houston clash after suffering concussion in fall

Vancouver's Nigel Reo-Coker

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USA Today Sports

VANCOUVER, B.C. – It's official: Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker won't play Saturday vs. the Houston Dynamo (7 pm ET; MLS Live in the US, TSN2 in Canada).

This after suffering a concussion as a result of a trip over a bike rack on Sunday while walking the streets of Vancouver. While the fall was known of before Thursday, this is the first time the club has revealed the severity of the injury.

“He is, yes,” Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson confirmed following a training session at BC Place Thursday, when asked if the Englishman is out for this weekend's game. “Nigel will be missing, but hopefully we'll have him back next week.”

Reo-Coker didn't participate in Thursday's session, but did make an appearance at the stadium.

Dressed in street clothes, he sported a nasty-looking scar on his face, which was still swollen and puffy four day after the accident.

“He suffered a slight concussion,” Robinson said. “I think he's in the process of doing the test now, but all should be clear for next week.”

The man ready to step in is 22-year-old Ghanian midfielder Gershon Koffie, who has yet to start a match this season.

He played his first 20 regular-season minutes over the weekend, coming on a substitute for Reo-Coker against the New England Revolution.

Now his coach his hoping Koffie seizes the chance to play alongside Matías Laba as one of the two holding players in Vancouver's 4-2-3-1 formation.

“He's been fantastic,” Robinson said of Koffie's last 10 days of training. “He must continue to do that. One thing I've generated here is competition for places, and Gershon being out of the team the first week or so found it a little bit difficult to try and find his place, but I sat down and talked with him, as the coaches have and said to him, 'It's about fighting for your place.'

“With adversity as well, you don't always get given things. He's reacted fantastically, he's been the best player in training in the last 10 days. If Gershon gets that chance, it's important he tries to take that chance.”

Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.