FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England midfielder Benny Feilhaber will miss a minimum of four MLS games — and possibly the CONCACAF Gold Cup — after spraining his right ankle in last Saturday's 1-0 defeat to the LA Galaxy.
Feilhaber expected to link up with the United States in Cary, N.C., ahead of Saturday's marquee friendly against Spain and the start of the Gold Cup, but he instead spent the early part of this week undergoing a set of X-rays and a MRI to determine the extent of his injury.
Although Revolution head coach Steve Nicol said he had not discussed the results of Feilhaber's MRI with head athletic trainer Sean Kupiec as of Thursday morning, he said the midfielder will require some time off to recover.
“He's not available for this weekend, the following weekend or the following weekend, definitely,” Nicol told MLSsoccer.com on Thursday morning.
If Nicol's projected timetable is accurate, Feilhaber will miss trips to FC Dallas (Saturday) and New York (June 10) plus home dates against Toronto FC (June 15) and Chicago (June 18).
Feilhaber likely would have missed all of those matches while away with the US at the Gold Cup anyway, but his absence through injury creates potential concerns about his fitness for difficult trips to Seattle (June 26) and Real Salt Lake (July 4).
While Feilhaber will have plenty of time to recover for those matches, he will not rebound in time to play a role this weekend against FCD. Nicol said Feilhaber's absence creates an opportunity for someone else to step into midfield and make an impact.
“As always, it kind of opens it up for somebody else to do well,” Nicol said. “Obviously, he has abilities that not too many [players] have in the squad, but we'll compensate for it in other ways.”
US await results
Head coach Bob Bradley has yet to officially replace Feilhaber on the roster as he is awaiting the results of the medical exams to evaluate the extent of the injury.
Alejandro Bedoya, who plays for Swedish side Örebro, was called in as a possible replacement although Bradley has until Monday — 24 hours before his team's first group match against Canada — to officially add Bedoya if necessary.
“US national team medical staff has been in contact with the Revolution since the injury occurred,” a US national team spokesperson told MLSsoccer.com late Wednesday. “Once all of the diagnostic testing has been done and we know the full extent of the injury, a decision will be made.”
The US will likely wait until after the match against Spain on Saturday to evaluate what final touches, if any, are made to the Gold Cup roster.
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