CARSON, Calif. – Since arriving from Philadelphia in May, Danny Califf has been a bit of an ironman, having played in all but one of Chivas USA’s regular-season games since the move.
Last Saturday, though, there proved to be a bit of rust on Califf’s iron after all.
Califf lasted only 63 minutes in the match in Seattle as he succumbed to a hamstring injury midway through the second half. Though he said the injury is minor, his chances of participating in Saturday’s home match against San Jose are up in the air.
While the team ran through a full-field 11-vs.-11 scrimmage in training Wednesday, Califf was going through some light drills on the side and although his upbeat demeanor did not appear any different, the veteran center back was nevertheless dour about the situation.
“It’s coming along,” Califf told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday. “It’s getting better each day but it’s a bit disappointing. Hopefully I can at least be available for selection on the weekend.”
Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser said more will be known as the week progresses, but that there was a chance Califf could at least suit up against the Earthquakes.
“At this point, it’s evaluating day by day and seeing how he comes along,” he said. “It’s pretty minor, pretty slight but certainly enough that if it seemed like something that was going to affect him long term or something that was going to affect the game then we wanted to make a change.”
Califf, 32, said he has had no issues with injuries this season prior to Saturday.
“It just kind of happened out of the blue,” he said. “I went for a long sprint and then it just kind almost felt like a cramp and the cramp just didn’t go away. It just kept getting tighter and tighter. I wasn’t able to loosen it up and I felt like if I took an awkward step or went on another long sprint it could possibly really go and then I’d be in big, big trouble.”
Hamstring injuries are nothing new to Califf, who said he’s had them in both his right hamstring – where the current ailment is – and his left. And though he knows rest is perhaps the most effective way to deal with such an injury, heeding advice from his own experiences may be a different story.
“Because I’ve had them in the past I’m kind of aware of that,” Califf said, “but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try and push to try and get back because San Jose is a good team and a good rivalry and I’d like to be part of it.”
Luis Bueno covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com and can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.