FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England Revolution coach Jay Heaps said the availability of defender Stephen McCarthy remains uncertain ahead of Wednesday's match at Montreal (8 pm ET, TSN2 in Canada, MLS Live in US).
McCarthy departed Saturday's 1-0 defeat against Toronto FC in the sixth minute after experiencing concussion-like symptoms in the wake of a clash of heads with TFC striker Ryan Johnson.
Heaps would certainly like to have McCarthy available to start against the Impact, but he noted that he must wait to receive more information on the center back's condition before determining whether to include him in the travel party on Tuesday.
“It's a little too early to tell,” Heaps told MLSsoccer.com on Monday morning. “He sounded good yesterday. He's in today. We're just following the right procedures and protocol.”
The tenuous nature of the injury injects more uncertainty into the process. McCarthy will follow the advice of the Revs medical staff as he copes with any lingering symptoms and progresses through the necessary procedures to treat the knock.
“With Macca, we have to play it – it's not even day-by-day, it's hour-by-hour,” Heaps said. “We have to wait and let his body tell us what to do. You want to follow the right protocol.”
The midweek road trip presents another hurdle in the process with the club set to depart on Tuesday afternoon, but a negative report ahead of the trip to Stade Saputo would not necessarily rule him out for Saturday's visit to Sporting Kansas City even though the team will travel to Kansas City from Toronto on Thursday.
At this stage of the proceedings, Heaps said he wants to take every possible step to make sure that McCarthy feels well enough to play before he returns to the squad.
“We don't want to force anything,” Heaps said. “We just want to see how his body reacts. It has reacted really well, but it's up to the doctor and our training staff.”