UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – There’s encouraging news coming out Red Bulls training this week: Thierry Henry might – might – be available for Thursday night’s Eastern Conference Semifinal second-leg clash against the San Jose Earthquakes (8 p.m. ET, ESPN2).
Henry was limited in practice all last week due to a knee injury and did not travel to California for the first leg, instead staying behind for treatment. On Tuesday, though, the French star was again limited in practice, but he did train with the team, including in a small-sided game.
“His turning was excellent, looked really sharp,” head coach Hans Backe said after training, also noting that Henry's finishing is lacking due to rust. “But just to hit the ball, to kick the ball, he feels some pain.”
Henry, for his part, says that he feels better.
“I think I am going to be available to the boss,” Henry said on Tuesday. “I don’t know if I’m going to start.”
New York’s big-name signing missed the team’s final two regular-season games and then last Saturday’s 1-0 win over San Jose because of the injury, which he suffered in a collision with teammate Juan Agudelo.
However, Henry has healed faster than expected – the initial prognosis was that he would be out a month – and could well contribute Thursday as a sub if he's ready and fit.
“We just have to make a decision tomorrow after training,” Backe said of Henry’s status.
Kristian R. Dyer can be reached for comment at KristianRDyer@yahoo.com and followed at twitter.com/kdyer1012
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