LEHI, Utah – It was the last thing that Real Salt Lake wanted to see at practice just two days before their crucial first leg against Deportivo Saprissa in the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals: a starter going down and writhing in pain.
With about a half-hour remaining in Sunday’s session at Xango Field, left back Chris Wingert hit the ground shouting in pain after spraining his left ankle. He sat out the remainder of practice.
At the conclusion of training manager Jason Kreis was still awaiting an update from his staff but had expressed he was “very concerned” with the way Wingert went down.
The good news for Kreis is that RSL are now classifying the sprain as “minor” and the former St. John’s University player is being listed as probable ahead of Tuesday’s showdown.
Before the Wingert incident, RSL’s starting lineup had two chief question marks: Will it be Tony Beltran or Robbie Russell at right back and will Kreis go with Andy Williams or Ned Grabavoy at midfield? If Wingert can’t go on Tuesday, expect one of those questions to be answered as Beltran takes over left back duty.
“We have a good problem I think you can call it,” Kreis said. “There are those two [decisions to make] and then we have some quality forwards that haven’t seen minutes yet in this round that probably deserve a consideration as well.”
The forward corps could yet be bolstered by the addition of former New York Red Bulls reserve striker Conor Chinn. Kreis indicated that a decision will be made in the “next few days” as to whom between Chinn and SuperDraft pick Jared vanSchaik will join the RSL 2011 roster.