Didier Drogba has recovered from a hamstring injury in time for tonight's game between the Montreal Impact and Orlando City SC and the Ivorian striker isn't the only player with a clean bill of health for the Impact.
"The whole team is healthy,'' Impact coach Mauro Biello said Tuesday. "Except for those on international duty, everybody is available.
"This may be a team record,'' Biello said. "I think this is the first time all year all of our players are healthy. It makes choosing my starters a little more difficult, but my message to the players is always be ready to play.''
In addition to Drogba, midfielders Patrice Bernier, Lucas Ontivero and Harry Shipp are available to return from injuries tonight, as Montreal and Orlando City square off in an important Eastern Conference clash that has plenty of playoff implications (7:30 pm ET; MLS LIVE) A victory by Montreal would pull the Impact into a tie for fourth place in the East with the Philadelphia Union, three points back of Toronto FC and New York Red Bulls, who are tied for second in the conference. Orlando City are presently in seventh in the East, but a victory tonight would lift them over D.C. United and into the final playoff spot in the conference.
Drogba was pulled from Montreal's 1-0 win over rival Toronto Aug. 27 because of a sore hamstring. Bernier has missed the past three weeks with a fractured foot, Ontivero has been out with a calf injury and Shipp has not appeared in the past four games due to a strained groin. And in addition, Montreal also will have available midfielder Calum Mallace, who originally had been scheduled to sit the game out due to a suspension as the result of a red card he was given in the game against Toronto. Mallace's red card was rescinded by an Independent Review Panel this week, however, so he is eligible to play tonight.
Unavailable for the Impact will be defender Ambroise Oyongo (Cameroon) and midfielder Johan Venegas (Costa Rica), who are on their way back from international duty. Orlando City will be without striker Cyle Larin (Canada) and Kevin Molino (Trinidad and Tobago).