FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The injury bug sweeping through New England Revolution camp has apparently claimed another victim ahead of Saturday's home opener against Portland.
Midfielder Benny Feilhaber did not train with his teammates on Wednesday morning after suffering a left peroneal strain during Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Sporting Kansas City.
Feilhaber limped off the Livestrong Sporting Park field with a half-hour left to play and said after the match that he had injured his left ankle. After further evaluation upon his return to Foxborough, Feilhaber now has an exact diagnosis and is rated as doubtful for the Timbers' visit.
“Benny took a knock [during the Sporting Kansas City game] and we're just going through what is going on with his ankle injury,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps told MLSsoccer.com. “We're focusing on the day-to-day to make sure he gets better.”
If Feilhaber isn't able to recover in time for Saturday, then Heaps and the Revs would face yet another selection headache in addition to the quandary prompted by the continued issues in central defense. A rash of absences at the back – Darrius Barnes (left calf strain) and John Lozano (right hip flexor strain) are listed as out, while Stephen McCarthy is suspended for this weekend after his dismissal in Kansas City – could force midfielders Shalrie Joseph or Clyde Simms to plug the gap.
Fortunately for the Revs, their midfield depth will allow them to cope with a potential switch in central midfield, replace Feilhaber and sustain their attempts to implement a possession-oriented approach, according to Heaps.
“It doesn't change too much,” Heaps said about Feilhaber's potential absence. “We have to address the center back situation, but when you're talking about our midfield, that's one area where we feel we have some depth. Obviously, Benny's a classy player and someone that we lean on, but we don't want to get him out there and get him more injured. We have to be smart and pull him back a little bit.”