TUKWILA, Wash. – What started off as a seemingly minor calf injury will likely keep Brad Evans out of action for a fourth straight match.
“Brad is coming along slowly,” Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said on Thursday. “I don’t know if there’s enough there yet for him to play this weekend [against FC Dallas, 8:30 pm ET; MLS Live FREE Stream of the Week]. But we think the next weekend he should be on.”
Evans has not played since being forced to leave early from the March 15 match against Toronto FC after suffering a calf contusion on a tackle. He first tried to play through it, but the swelling was bad enough that he had to be subbed out about 20 minutes in.
The Sounders had been hopeful that Evans would possibly not miss any games but have been less aggressive with the rehabilitation process in the last couple weeks.
The status of Andy Rose – Evans’ most like-for-like replacement – is also undetermined. Schmid said Rose went through most of Thursday’s training session but was pulled toward the end “so we wouldn’t aggravate it.”
Although it wasn’t clear if the Sounders would have tried to push Rose or Evans onto the field any quicker last year, Schmid did note that the team has changed how they treat injuries after suffering through numerous lengthy absences last season.
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“We always review injuries and see if there’s something at training that we’re doing or not doing,” Schmid said. “We’ve really made a conscientious effort of getting them out on the field and not saying, ‘OK this is an injury day so you’re just going to get a massage and that’s it. You’re going to do something like work on the bike, work with the trainers.’
“We’ve changed our injury protocol. Guys we know are injured, we have them do their work inside and then finish up here.”