CARSON, Calif. — Juan Agudelo was held out from Thursday’s training session with a minor foot injury, providing Chivas USA head coach José Luis "Chelís" Sánchez Solá with another opportunity to explain his displeasure with the current procedures for treating injuries in Major League Soccer.
“He does have an injury, though I’d want him not to have one,” Sánchez Solá said. “From what I’m accustomed to, I say he doesn’t have an injury. But with the process here and the athletic education they have here, they say he is injured and needs to rehab for three days.”
Chelís expressed his displeasure earlier this week about the recovery of goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, who missed a preseason game against the Chicago Fire on Tuesday with a dislocated finger. The new Chivas USA coach said at the time that “it's a whole different type of medicine they use here," and he was at it again when it came to Agudelo’s issue.
“In the whole world, you take a disinflammatory, a muscle relaxant, do some hot-and-cold treatment, and the next day you’re training with the injury [Agudelo] has,” Chelís said. “In the soccer here, you’ve got to stop activity for three days for the foot to return to full strength.”
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Chelís referenced the injury Baltimore Ravens running back Bernard Pierce suffered during the Super Bowl to cite the differences in injury treatment across American sports. Pierce limped into the locker room in the third quarter on Sunday, yet returned to the field shortly thereafter.
“Eight plays later, he was in there again,” Chelís said. “Why in one sport yes and in another one no?”
Agudelo played in Tuesday’s preseason scrimmage against the Chicago Fire, earning an assist in the 1-1 draw. He was removed at the midway point of that match as part of the mass substitutions.
Chelís wasn’t concerned about the severity of Agudelo’s injury, but did say why the 20-year-old forward’s absence would affect training.
“A player that stops activity for a day needs two more to regain physical shape,” he said. “If he stops three days, he needs six to regain top physical shape. If he’s out for a week, he needs two weeks to recover.”
Agudelo was not available for comment on Thursday. He had three goals and three assists in 20 games with Chivas USA last season, and reportedly drew interest from Celtic of the Scottish Premier League during the January transfer window. He re-joined Chivas USA last week after his call-up to the USMNT camp.