PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers entered Day 2 of preseason camp Monday with center back Mikaël Silvestre having yet to join the team in training.
And while head coach Caleb Porter didn’t confirm a report that said the English Premier League veteran and former French international would not be a part of the Timbers’ plans in 2014, he said there are questions that need to be answered before – or if – he returns to the squad.
Silvestre, one of Portland’s key acquisitions last season, started eight games before tearing his ACL against the New England Revolution on May 2, an injury that kept him out for the remainder of the season.
“The reality is, Mikaël is a very experienced player, but he’s also coming off a couple knee injuries,” Porter said. “We need to evaluate him physically, we need to evaluate him mentally and where he’s at and what he’s looking to do.”
It seems that even if Silvestre returns to the Timbers, his role will be somewhat diminished.
Portland signed Argentine center back Norberto Paparatto in the offseason to go along with Pa Modou Kah and Mamadou “Futty” Danso, both of whom became mainstays in the season’s final stretch last year. Also this offseason, Portland also signed Bryan Gallego as a Homegrown player and brought back Rauwshan McKenzie, who was acquired from Chivas USA after the Silvestre injury last year.
“We’re in the process of finding a resolution for [Silvestre's] situation,” Porter said. “Obviously every decision we make is the decision that we feel is best for the club.”
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Another player who has been absent since the start of camp is last season’s backup goalkeeper Milos Kocic. He announced his retirement Sunday.
Kocic said he has returned to Toronto, where he played for three seasons with Toronto FC before coming to Portland last year, and will open a youth goalkeeping academy. The 28-year-old made two starts last season in support of reigning Goalkeeper of the Year Donovan Ricketts.
Dan Itel covers the Timbers for MLSsoccer.com.