Injuries. It seems like time and time again the lack of injury news has people questioning who's "hurt" and who's really hurt.
What is and isn't reported has become an ongoing issue throughout MLS this season. Last week, we learned that Thierry Henry did not travel to Columbus minutes before kickoff. Who reported it? The New York Red Bulls' official Twitter account (see below).
Henry did not travel due to Achilles inflammation. Team staff decided it was best for him to stay in NY and prepare for Aug 17 Union match.— New York Red Bulls (@NewYorkRedBulls) August 10, 2013
Regardless of who we hear it from or how we hear about it, this information is extremely important — not just to MLS Fantasy, but to the fans as well.
As MLS Fantasy owners, you'd hope this kind of information would be readily available, but it's certainly not a given. Heck, I had Henry in my starting lineup until a co-worker tapped me on the shoulder and told me the news. Well, this week, it's no different.
Several key players remain on the bubble, while others seem set for a return to the field. Here are the latest updates from around the league with a little help from Twitter.
Thierry Henry / Tim Cahill
Henry surprised a lot of people by not traveling to last week's game at Columbus. The decision, made by the Red Bulls training staff, was specifically so that he could rest up for the next home match against the Philadelphia Union. It seems to have paid off. MLSsoccer.com's Red Bulls beat writer, Franco Panizo, provided an update earlier this week on both Henry's status and Tim Cahill's as well.
Recommendation: You should feel confident with Henry in your Starting XI this week. Cahill should be available as well, barring a setback.
Zusi has been sidelined with a quad strain since leaving the MLS All-Star Game early in the first half. MLSsoccer.com's Sporting KC beat writer, Steve Brisendine, touched on his status for the upcoming weekend (as well as Kei Kamara's) on Tuesday.
Graham Zusi, Kei Kamara could suit up this weekend, but Sporting KC are "not going to push it"
— Steve Brisendine (@SteveBrisendine) August 14, 2013
Recommendation: Don't be surprised if Peter Vermes decides to hold their No. 1 playmaker out one more week. The concern right now is that Zusi still has trouble striking the ball with full power. And as we all know from watching him play, this is a major component of his game.
Magee played the full 90 minutes in Chicago's 2-0 US Open Cup semifinal loss to D.C. United on August 7. He hasn't played since. On Tuesday, Fire head coach Frank Klopas said that he was hopeful to have Magee back at practice on Wednesday. It looks like he got his wish.
Magee participated in practice on Wednesday, so it seems as if the calf strain that kept him out against Montreal is no longer an issue. When asked Thursday about his status for this weekend's game against New England, Magee responded, "Yeah, it's my job."
Magee on whether he's ready to go this weekend: "Yeah, its my job."— Anthony Zilis (@adzilis) August 15, 2013
Recommendation: Chris Rolfe hasn't practiced yet due to hamstring tendonitis so it looks as if the team should benefit greatly from Magee's return. Look for updates on his status later today and tomorrow, but all signs point to him being ready to suit up on Saturday.
Johnson went 63 minutes in Portland's 2-1 US Open Cup semifinal loss to Real Salt Lake before leaving the game with an apparent shoulder injury. As of Thursday, the Timbers' captain has yet to train with the team. Currently, he's listed as day-to-day, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if he was watching from the sideline come Saturday.
No sign of Will Johnson at Timbers training this morning. I was told he's "day-to-day." #rctid— Kelly McLain (@TimbersInsider) August 15, 2013
Recommendation: As of this moment, I would steer clear of Johnson. Portland is one of four teams playing a double-game week in Round 27, so head coach Caleb Porter could choose to hold him out until he's fully recovered. Nothing has been officially reported regarding the extent of his injury. Be on the lookout for updates on Friday.
Clint Dempsey took Martins' place in the 34th minute of Seattle's 2-1 victory against Toronto FC last weekend. If the injury was serious enough for Martins to leave the game, you should be concerned about him playing Saturday night at Houston. On Wednesday, the Nigerian striker was seen riding a stationary bike at practice, but that's about it.
Obafemi Martins (sprained ankle) was mainly on the bike today, but coach Sigi Schmid hasn't ruled him out of Saturday's game at Houston.— Joshua Mayers (@joshuamayers) August 14, 2013
Recommendation: Martins hasn't officially been ruled out, but it doesn't look good. This isn't the only bad news the Sounders are facing either. US national team forward Eddie Johnson will miss this weekend's match due to yellow-card accumulation. If Martins can't go, all odds point to a duo of Lamar Neagle and Clint Dempsey up top.
On Wednesday it was reported by D.C. United digital coordinator Molly Bruh that Luis Silva had been cleared for full participation after passing his final concussion test earlier in the afternoon. The article also stated that Silva was set to resume practice on Thursday.
Recommendation: Just because Silva's been cleared to practice doesn't mean he'll be included in the starting XI just yet. I'd put him at a 50 percent chance of playing right now, but I'm still awaiting official word on the situation. I'll be posting updates regarding his status, along with several other players later Thursday and Friday on Twitter.