These days, the Chivas USA locker room is looking more like an infirmary.
Matt Taylor, Francisco Gomez, Thiago Martins and Ezra Hendrickson are all nursing a wide array of injuries and all might miss more than Wednesday's game against the Galaxy.
Taylor and Gomez are not expected back until September at the earliest; Martins and Hendrickson might play against the Galaxy but the injuries could linger. Martins has already missed several weeks with a foot injury while Hendrickson, who pulled a quadriceps muscle on Friday, played through pain against Real Salt Lake but could risk further damage by playing at less than 100 percent.
Hendrickson is the lone member of Chivas USA to have played every single minute of the season. But keeping his iron-man streak alive is not a motivating factor for his desire to play.
"It's not even personal, the things I'm looking at right now," Hendrickson said on Tuesday. "It's just a matter of us getting victories. I'm one of the leaders on the team. I feel like the guys need me out there. I'm going to do whatever I need to do to play for the team's sake but at the same time I can't risk doing some damage to my injury and make it worse."
Chivas USA Coach Hans Westerhof said he will start a three-man backline of Armando Begines, Douglas Sequeira and Alfonso Loera against the Galaxy; however, Hendrickson said that if he is healthy to play even 45 minutes against the Galaxy, he would consider it.
Up front, Taylor and Martins have left gaping holes. Chivas USA will likely start the same forward trio that started against Real Salt Lake: Antonio Martinez, Isaac Romo and Arturo Torres.
"We obviously miss those players but we've got to work with what we've got," Torres said. "The players that are in are working as hard as they were working."
Compounding the injury situation is the suspension of Esteban Arias, who received a red card in the RSL match. Also, Hector Cuadros, who was the victim of a Joey Franchino body check, will be on the bench against the Galaxy and could see some action for the first time since July 22.
Whoever is on the field needs to step up and start getting some points, players said. The club's deficit behind Colorado and the fourth and final playoff spot is at 12 points, or double the amount of points Chivas has collected the entire season.
"It's kind of a must-win game for us now," Hendrickson said about the Galaxy match. "We've put ourselves in a position where we have to win every game that's considered a home game. The guys know that; the guys who are going to be ready to play will and hopefully we can start the second half on a good note."
Luis Bueno is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.