VANCOUVER, B.C. – Vancouver Whitecaps Designated Player Kenny Miller was set to return from a hamstring injury this week, but on Monday suffered a setback which should push his return back another two weeks or more.
That means no involvement for the Scotsman in Wednesday’s second leg of the Canadian Championship semifinal tie against NASL side FC Edmonton (10 pm ET, Sportsnet).
“He looked good, he was training well, he trained on Saturday, looked excellent,” Rennie said. “He would have started [Wednesday's] game, and then just felt it again. It’s a strange one because it’s not like a pull or a bad one.
“So we really think that he’s going to be back very soon but we were hoping that he would be back for this game and he’s not going to be.”
After a slow start to MLS life in 2012, Miller looked energized in his first three matches this season, bagging two goals from three appearances.
With his wealth of experience, the 33-year-old looked set to be a key part of the leadership group – as well as the focal point for Vancouver’s offense – once captain Jay DeMerit went down with a ruptured Achilles tendon.
Now, though, there must be concerns about how long this hamstring issue will continue, especially given a green and inconsistent offensive group which has scored just nine goals in eight league matches.
“Hopefully it’s not serious,” Rennie said. “I think it’s something he should come back pretty quickly from. But it is a fair storyline – we have a lot of young players. Right now we’re creating multiple chances in games, and if we were taking a few more we’d be at the top of the league.
“So it is an important thing for us to improve on, and when Kenny’s played he’s done well, he’s scored and he’s set up goals. We are missing him, and we’ve definitely missed him for longer than we had hoped for.”
When asked if adding a more experienced player to his attacking group becomes necessary should Miller’s injury issue continue, Rennie stated he has confidence in the current group of players but is always on the market for talented players.
“We’re always looking at players,” Rennie said. “Any players that we’d really look to add now would probably be experienced players. I think we’ve got a young squad, a lot of high-potential players, but at the moment, with Jay and Kenny being out, we are missing a little bit of our veteran leadership.”