SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake defender Tony Beltran is likely to miss Saturday’s home opener against New York with a knee injury that he picked up in the opening minutes against the LA Galaxy last Saturday, according to Jason Kreis.
“We’ll take a very cautious approach and I would say there’s very little chance that he plays this weekend,” the RSL head coach told reporters on Wednesday.
Beltran suffered the injury early in RSL’s 3-1 win over LA at The Home Depot Center during a collision with Galaxy forward Edson Buddle. The injury is to the posterior capsule at the back of the knee.
“He’s got some bruising and some bleeding on the back of his knee,” GM Garth Lagerwey explained to ESPN700 Sports Radio in Salt Lake City on Wednesday. “It’s real sore and painful right now. Our medical advice is that there’s no structural damage. There’s no ligament damage. There’s no cartilage damage. So he’s not risking himself by playing, but it’s a painful injury.”
Beltran went through limited training on Wednesday and explained that he didn’t expect the injury to be serious. His likely fill-in on Saturday is Japanese newcomer Terukazu Tanaka, who could see his first league minutes.
Good news on recovering starters
The rest of the injury news for RSL seems to be much more positive. Kreis is bullish on Álvaro Saborío and Javier Morales, both of whom saw action against LA and could be in consideration to start against New York.
Two other players coming off injuries saw significant action in Tuesday’s Reserve League match against FC Dallas. Defender Nat Borchers played the first half and midfielder Jonny Steele went the full 90 in that game.
“[Borchers] came out OK, he was just fatigued,” Kreis of the central defender, who didn’t see any preseason action following surgery on torn quadriceps tendon. “The injury that he had the surgery on came out well, and now it’s just a matter of building match fitness.”
Meanwhile, Will Johnson is back from his sports hernia surgery in Germany and is just a few days away from full training.
“[I] feel good,” said Johnson. “I’m a week post-op and 10 to 14 days is the timeline for full recovery. I’m about four or five days out and then I should be 100 percent. A week or two of training and I’ll be good to go.”