Teemu Tainio may have played his last professional soccer game.
The New York Red Bulls midfielder is currently recovering from a knee injury initially sustained in April, but there is no guarantee that he will ever return to action after suffering a setback in his damaged right knee in May.
“I wouldn’t be surprised,” Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe told reporters on Monday when asked if the knock was career-ending. “That’s why we also took the decision not to have the surgery and try to get some of these new stuff with injections to heal the ACL. We’re talking, still, six weeks probably just to get an answer if it will work, and then you also get in shape after being out two, three months. But I think it was the right decision to see, because with the surgery it probably would have been career-ending.”
Backe added that if Tainio’s injury does sideline him permanently, the Red Bulls would likely search for a replacement during the summer transfer window.
Conde feels fine in first game back
Wilman Conde made his much-anticipated return from a groin injury in the Red Bulls’ 3-0 win over the Charleston Battery in the third round of the US Open Cup last week. The Colombian center back said he felt no ill effects while going the distance for the first time since late March.
“During the game, I didn’t feel any discomfort,” said Conde. “I felt high in confidence, and more importantly, I was pleased with the confidence the coaching staff and my teammates gave me, so I’m just happy to play again and I expect to give my all to continue getting minutes.”
Red Bull head into USOC match shorthanded
When the Red Bulls take on the Harrisburg City Islanders in the fourth round of the US Open Cup on Tuesday night (7 pm ET, watch live stream), they will do so with a very shorthanded team due to a combination of injuries and international call-ups.
“We have 13 outfield players,” said Backe. “That’s the whole roster that’s left. Only three subs, but that’s all the guys in.”
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at Franco8813@gmail.com.