Top forwards Thierry Henry and Fabián Espíndola are expected back in action for the New York Red Bulls this weekend, while the man who’s done the heavy lifting since they’ve been gone is now battling an injury of his own.
Head coach Mike Petke told reporters on Tuesday that Henry could be back in the starting lineup for the first time since March 16 when the team takes on D.C. United on Saturday. Henry has scored one goal in a pair of appearances off the bench over the past two games while recovering from an MCL sprain.
“I think we’re definitely in a position now with us being comfortable and him as well being comfortable with playing significantly more,” Petke said. “Whether that means he’ll start or not is definitely something [we’ll see] throughout this week but obviously he’s a player we would like to start.”
Espíndola, meanwhile, should be in uniform for the Red Bulls for the first time in three weeks. The Argentine forward, who came close to scoring twice in New York’s first meeting with United this season, missed the club’s last two matches with a hamstring problem.
“Espíndola is doing very well,” Petke said. “He got a really good workout in the last couple of days and all eyes are pointing for him to be available for Saturday’s game.”
The news was not so positive for Péguy Luyindula, who has been spearheading the Red Bulls attack during the absence of his teammates. Luyindula suffered a hamstring injury in the second half of the Red Bulls’ 3-1 loss to the Chicago Fire on Sunday and his availability for the weekend is in question.
“He is going to be a decision in the next couple of days, where he’s at,” Petke said.
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached by e-mail at Franco8813@gmail.com.