UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – Just when it seemed things were starting to improve in terms of injuries for the New York Red Bulls, word comes in that Teemu Tainio will be sidelined for at least another two months.
Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe said after Wednesday afternoon’s practice that Tainio (above) suffered a setback in his recovery from the knee injury he picked up in early April, and the central midfielder is expected to miss at least two more months. Tainio, who has played a combined 180 minutes over three games this season, had recently returned to the practice field for the Red Bulls to do fitness drills.
“That will be a problem,” Backe told reporters. “He’s far away from coming back.”
Tainio’s setback was not the only negative injury news out of Red Bulls camp on Tuesday. Midfielder/defender Jan Gunnar Solli, who recently returned from a calf strain, now has an injury to his thigh and will be unavailable for the squad’s upcoming matches against the Montreal Impact and Chivas USA.
“He will not be playing in either of these two games,” said Backe. “It’s a kind of a tear in his thigh, the risk is too big to gamble with that.”
Mercifully, the injury report was not entirely bleak.
Center back Wilman Conde trained with the team for the first time since sustaining a groin knock, and Thierry Henry is continuing his recovery from a hamstring injury picked up last month. Backe said neither would be available for this Saturday’s visit to Montreal, but that they could play next Wednesday at home versus Chivas USA.
“If Wilman responds well in these three sessions and next week, he’ll definitely be available,” said Backe. “It looks like Thierry can be healthy for the Chivas game.”
More good new came in the way of reserve forward Jose Angulo and center back Stephen Keel. The two players ran through fitness drills for the first time since they picked up knee and back injuries, respectively.
“I think Angulo will [return to full training] probably in the beginning of next week or one week more,” said Backe. “Keel, it’s a little bit difficult to say with his stress fracture because they’re tricky ones, but I would guess he will return in about a week.”
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at Franco8813@gmail.com.