FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – It's been a long time coming, but Sainey Nyassi could provide exactly what New England need when he eventually returns to the squad.
The pacy right winger has missed the entire season with calf and hamstring complaints, but he could inject a necessary bit of width into midfield once he is fit enough to feature.
“He's exactly what we need right now: a little bit of pace wide,” Revolution head coach Jay Heaps told MLSsoccer.com. “We need to have a little bit more of that speed to stretch the field, not just length-wise, but we also need it width-wise as well.”
Nyassi's progress in recent weeks provides plenty of encouragement that his time will come sooner rather than later. The 23-year-old Gambia international played 34 minutes in a Reserve League match at Columbus last Sunday as he works his way back toward full fitness.
Although Nyassi is listed as questionable for Saturday's match against the Crew, he may not feature with the first team yet as Heaps and the Revs try to ensure his continued availability for the crucial slate of games ahead.
“It's important that we get him back for this stretch, but we don't want too much, too early,” Heaps said. “Just because we're excited, we need to make sure that his body is continuing to progress. It's exactly what we need to stretch the field for us.”
Guy, Simms still on the road back
Nyassi's impending return could offer a boost to counteract the lingering injury concerns afflicting fellow midfielders Ryan Guy and Clyde Simms.
Both players were listed as out on Tuesday's injury report with injuries that also kept them out of the 2-0 victory over Chicago on June 2. Guy (right calf tightness) remains behind Simms in the queue to return to the first team, but Simms (left ankle tendonitis) has yet to return to full participation on the training field.
“Clyde was out here for the first part of practice [on Tuesday],” Heaps said. “We have to make sure we monitor his reps in training. Again, he's someone we want to see available very soon.”