FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – José Gonçalves is in danger of missing his second straight match and Kelyn Rowe still looks short of full match fitness as injuries continue to complicate the New England Revolution's preparations for a playoff rematch against Eastern Conference leaders Sporting Kansas City on Saturday (7:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE).
Trying to rebound from a left hamstring strain, Rowe has been active in training in recent weeks after missing the Revs' last four matches. Although coach Jay Heaps was happy to have Rowe working with the first team on Tuesday, Heaps is being patient due to the nature of the injury.
“With Kelyn, we’re moving him along conservatively and not overextending him too much,” Heaps told MLSsoccer.com after Tuesday’s training. “It was good to have him out here today.”
Two weeks ago, captain Gonçalves was injured in a challenge with Houston’s Ricardo Clark. It led to the reigning MLS Defender of the Year being unavailable due to injury for the first time in his season-plus with New England with a right quad strain, and his status for the weekend remains in jeopardy, as he was still unable to hit the pitch for training on Tuesday.
“With José, we’re still kind of how we were last week: seeing how we’re doing day-by-day,” said Heaps, who has used five different starting lineups over seven matches. “You never want to lose a guy [like that], and now we’ll see how it works this week.”
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After two weeks of being listed as "out," on the club injury report, Rowe was upgraded to "questionable" over the last two matches, but failed to appear in the 18-man game-day roster, while Gonçalves was listed as 'out' last week against Chicago.
Heaps has the luxury of moving Andrew Farrell over to center back and inserting Daigo Kobayashi at midfield, allowing the club to take its time in getting its injured starters back to game action. With the season only in its second month, it may be another week or so until Gonçalves and Rowe crack the starting 11 again.