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Colorado Rapids suffer injury epidemic amid busy stretch; three starters likely to miss Chivas USA tilt

Deshorn Brown

Photo Credit: 
USA Today Sports

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – The injuries are quickly piling up for the suddenly struggling Colorado Rapids.

With only two points from their last three matches, the Rapids need bodies, but they may be short a few for Friday night’s tilt at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park against Chivas USA (9:30 pm ET, MLS Live). Striker Deshorn Brown, midfielder José Mari and defender Shane O’Neill all missed Tuesday’s practice with an assortment of injuries.

“Deshorn’s day-to-day, José’s day-to-day, O’Neill’s day-to-day,” Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni said simply of the injured trio after practice on Tuesday.

Despite Mastroeni's refusal to officially rule any of the trio out, Brown, José Mari and O’Neill are unlikely to play on Friday. Mastroeni has typically been conservative with playing injured players, and with a midweek trip to New England looming, the first-year head coach is expected to rest the trio.

Brown suffered a groin strain in Friday night’s 2-1 loss to the Portland Timbers, José Mari suffered a sprained ankle late last month and O’Neill hurt his right knee on July 4 while blocking a shot against the Columbus Crew. O’Neill was suspended for Friday’s match in Portland after a harsh challenge in a 3-3 draw in Philadelphia the week prior.

The good news for the Rapids is that striker Edson Buddle (toe) and midfielder Marlon Hairston returned to practice on Tuesday and both are expected to be available for selection for Friday.

Hairston was injured in the second half of the Rapids’ loss in Portland, and Buddle, who could be a candidate to start in place of Brown, missed Friday’s match with the toe injury. Also, midfielders Vicente Sánchez and Nick LaBrocca will return from their respective suspensions, which forced the duo to miss last Friday’s match.

Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.