After a relatively injury-free opening month, the New York Red Bulls are starting to see the MLS season take its toll.
Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke spent a good portion of his weekly conference call on Tuesday giving updates on the injury status of one-third of his starting lineup. And the news is something of a wash for the still-winless team.
As far as Roy Miller and Armando – both of whom suffered knocks in last weekend’s 2-2 draw in Montreal and had to be subbed off – the defenders are "day to day," according to Petke, leaving their availability for Saturday's trip to D.C. United in question (7 pm ET, MLS LIVE).
Miller came off at halftime this past Saturday an Achilles problem that stems from last August and Armando left late in the game with a hamstring issue.
"Roy is OK," Petke said. "It wasn't an injury, per se, it was more he felt something coming in his Achilles, [which dates] back to the Chivas game last year when he initially hurt it and was out for a while. He felt something strange and came out. He's been doing treatment, and I'll get an update on his status tomorrow.
"Armando, I haven't gotten the final word yet – I'm going to give [the medical staff] another day to really retest him – but he has something going on in his hamstring. I don't want to classify it as anything specific yet. It's all premature, but I think that we'll definitely have a good understanding of it tomorrow."
The second-year head coach also said that Designated Player Tim Cahill is making strides in his recovery from a hamstring knock sustained in the 1-1 draw with Chivas USA on March 30. Cahill will be further evaluated on Wednesday after sitting out his first match of the season this past weekend, but Petke said New York will not hurry the Australian international’s return.
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“We all know Tim. We know Tim will play through anything,” Petke said. “But again, it’s about his health and he has a long season ahead and a World Cup as well. It’s not a situation that we’re going to rush him back if he’s not 100 percent. If he’s not 100 percent, then something else could happen. It could be worse.”
One player who is good to go against D.C. United is Dax McCarty. The veteran central midfielder did not start against Montreal due to a back issue that he has been dealing with for “a long time,” but Petke said that McCarty is healthy enough to play, just as he did this past weekend when he came off the bench at halftime to replace Miller and played 45 minutes.
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached by e-mail at Franco8813@gmail.com.