FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England striker Rajko Lekic is expected to miss the next two to four weeks with a fractured big toe on his right foot, but his injury did not stop him from attempting to play against Chivas USA last weekend.
Lekic tried to prove his fitness ahead of the 3-2 defeat to the Rojiblancos, but he ultimately relented in his quest to play after heeding the advice proffered by the Revolution's medical team.
“He was desperate to play at the weekend,” New England coach Steve Nicol told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday. “The doctors basically told him, 'If you play and it gets hit the wrong way, you're talking about not only a long-term injury, but maybe a career-threatening injury.' That made it an easy decision.”
The projected time on the sidelines could ultimately prove beneficial for Lekic if he recovers fully from his toe complaint. The Danish striker missed his typical offseason break after joining the Revs from Silkeborg IF in April. A timely dose of rest could boost Lekic as the Revs prepare to make a playoff push in the coming weeks.
“It'll give him a little bit of a break,” Nicol said. “He hasn't had a break. Normally, he would have had an offseason, but coming here, he didn't. Eventually, your body catches up with you and tells you you need a break. That's kind of what's happened with him.”
Phelan ready to feature against Crew
While Lekic will miss Saturday's trip to Columbus (7:30 pm ET, watch LIVE online), the injury news surrounding Revs midfielder Pat Phelan looks far more promising.
Phelan had struggled with a right hip flexor strain in the wake of the 1-1 draw at Sporting Kansas City on July 30, but he managed to work his way through the final nine minutes against Chivas USA last weekend without incurring a setback.
Although Phelan said the knock is still a little bit sore, he said it isn't enough to keep him off the field against the Crew if selected.
“I didn't do anything to hurt it in the last game, so hopefully with a week of treatment, I should be ready for this weekend,” Phelan said.
Picking the right moments for Fagundez
Revolution forward Diego Fagundez will no doubt want to use Saturday's match against the Eastern Conference leaders as an opportunity to build upon his compelling debut against Chivas USA.
Fagundez played a part in both Revolution goals on his MLS debut. Such performances off the bench usually place a player in immediate contention for a starting role, but Nicol said he plans to exercise care as he uses Fagundez over the next few matches.
“We'll use him when we think it is the best time for him,” Nicol said. “I think it's important at this stage that when he's coming on, he's in a position to do well. We're not going to throw him to the wolves, so to speak. We'll look after him, as far as that's concerned.”
Mansally poised to join Revs in Columbus
Revolution midfielder Kenny Mansally — along with Colorado midfielder Sanna Nyassi, Portland defender Futty Danso and Vancouver forward Mustapha Jarju — traveled to Banjul for Gambia's 3-0 friendly victory over Democratic Republic of Congo on Wednesday. Despite his midweek exertions, Mansally is expected to join the Revs in Columbus on Friday.