HOUSTON – MLS MVP finalist Brad Davis was back at Houston Dynamo practice on Tuesday. Except he wasn’t practicing.
Davis made his first appearance at a Dynamo practice since going down with a quad injury in the first half of the Eastern Conference Championship against Sporting Kansas City. He was restricted to solo exercises that targeted his ailing muscle, which forced him to be a spectator for Tuesday’s scrimmage at Houston Amateur Sports Park just five days before MLS Cup 2011 at The Home Depot Center (9 pm ET; ESPN, Galavisión and TSN2).
“I just took a couple of days to get away and now come back and support these guys as much as I can,” he told MLSsoccer.com. “It’s good to be around the guys in the locker and help out in any way that I can right now.”
Despite the skepticism of LA Galaxy defender Gregg Berhalter, who last week expressed doubts about whether Davis would actually miss the final, the MLS assist leader confirmed that he suffered a tear in his quadriceps that rules him out of MLS Cup. But there was a bright side.
“I don’t need surgery,” Davis said. “But it’s going to take a little while longer than expected. It’s a little bit of misfortune, but this is our last game, so I have plenty of time to recover.”
The question remains how Houston manager Dominic Kinnear will opt to replace Davis in the lineup. All signs from Tuesday’s practice would point to an encore of the second-half lineup against Kansas City, with Jamaican Jermaine Taylor at left back and Corey Ashe pushing up to man the left wing.
In what was an upbeat and energetic practice session on Tuesday, the Dynamo worked on one- and two-touch drills along with quick combination passing exercises designed at breaking through the tight spaces of the always well-organized LA Galaxy.
“It’s going to be a tough match,” Davis said, "but the way we’re playing of late, I have full confidence that it’s going to be a good game and I know we can beat this team.”
Although he may not be participating in Sunday’s match, the lead-up is just as nerve-wracking for him as the Dynamo seek their third league title in club history.
“As hard as it is right to know I’m not going to be able to play, I still have the anxiousness from when we’ve been there a couple of times,” he said. “I‘m excited and I know these guys are looking forward to it. These are the last few days and they seem to take forever.”