FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England midfielder Steve Ralston will have to wait a few more days to officially start his second stint with the Revolution.
Ralston suffered a dislocated left elbow just two minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute in a friendly against Cruzeiro on June 13. The injury sidelined Ralston for three league matches, but the veteran midfielder wanted to return in time to play a significant role in SuperLiga Group B action after returning to full training.
Although Ralston hoped to feature this weekend against Chicago, it appears he will have to wait until Tuesday's Group B finale after the Revolution medical staff ruled him out of Saturday's trip to Toyota Park.
“I haven't been cleared to play on Saturday yet, but they said Tuesday, I'll be able to go,” Ralston told MLSsoccer.com on Thursday. “I don't know what the extra couple of days' difference is going to make, but the doctors felt more comfortable if I were to wait until Tuesday.”
Both Ralston and Revolution coach Steve Nicol said they want the former US international to log some game action in SuperLiga to help him in his quest to regain match fitness. Ralston suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee last September and the 36-year-old played just two competitive matches for AC St. Louis before rejoining the Revs on June 8.
“Really, if you look at the past 10 months or so, I haven't played a whole lot of games, maybe a game-and-a-half,” Ralston said. “I'd love to be able to get on the field and into some game-like situations.”
New England's current two-match unbeaten streak serves as further enticement to return to the field. Ralston said his teammates started their recent resurgence by dedicating themselves during training and noted that he hopes to soon join them as they seek to seal a spot in the SuperLiga semifinals.
“I think the guys responded after the game in Salt Lake in a good way,” Ralston said. “The LA result is something we could build on and I think we have. The previous two weeks in training have been great and it has translated back onto the field in the games.”