UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. — Another week, another injured New York Red Bulls player.
Versatile defender Heath Pearce has been ruled out for this weekend’s road game against the New England Revolution with a hamstring injury picked up late in last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Toronto FC. Pearce underwent a scan on Monday, but head coach Hans Backe said he was unsure of the severity of the knock.
“Take it day by day, impossible to say how bad it is,” Backe told reporters after a lively Tuesday morning training session. “But he’s out for Sunday game.”
Adding to the seemingly never-ending injury woes is the status of Rafa Márquez for this weekend’s clash. Márquez did not train with the team on Tuesday morning and, although he might return to the practice field soon, his availability against the Revs is still unknown.
“Rafa needs treatment, he is not 100 percent with his calf,” said Backe. “He should be in perhaps ready for tomorrow, but I would guess Thursday or Friday.”
There's better news on Jan Gunnar Solli, however. The Norwegian sat out of Tuesday morning’s training session with a calf knock, but he should be back in practice by Thursday or Friday, Backe said.
Near fisticuffs in training
Tuesday morning’s session was as intense as any the Red Bulls have had this season, and there was a near fight between Roy Miller and Dane Richards during one of the drills.
The two players, who were on the same team during the exercise, shouted obscenities at each other and fellow teammates needed to restrain them from going at one another.
“Unfortunately, they didn’t fight more,” joked Backe. “I hoped for that, but the players went in between. I just said to Thierry [Henry], ‘Let them fight for a couple of minutes,’ but they stopped it too early.”
Rodgers decision postponed again
The Red Bulls said they were going to make a decision regarding Luke Rodgers’ future with the club this past weekend. But they didn’t, and now New York plan on waiting another week before making up their mind on this prolonged journey to reacquire the diminutive forward.
“Normally, it should have probably been perhaps at the end of June,” said Backe. “But I still think we can wait a week or so.”
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at Franco8813@gmail.com.