UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – Rafa Márquez has missed 12 of the New York Red Bulls 20 games this season, and that number is expected to grow in the coming weeks.
The Red Bulls Designated Player is slated to miss at least the next two weeks with a calf injury he aggravated in the first half of last Sunday’s 2-2 draw with the Seattle Sounders. The calf is the same one Márquez injured while on international duty with Mexico in June, and he underwent a scan earlier this week to assess how much time he'll miss.
“I’m not quite sure exactly what the scan said, but when I talked to the trainers they said around two weeks,” Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe told reporters on Friday morning.
If Márquez is indeed sidelined for the next two weeks, he will miss New York’s home game against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday (2:30 pm ET, ESPN, Live Chat on MLSsoccer.com) and their first visit to Stade Saputo to take on the Montreal Impact on July 28.
Henry ready to go
The Red Bulls' other Designated Player, Thierry Henry, will be available for selection against the Union. And he appears ready to start in his third game in seven days in a bid to regain complete game fitness.
“I started only four games since April,” Henry said. “It’s not a lot. But that’s the thing I am fighting fitness and trying to get back into shape and also trying to not get injured because it’s a busy schedule.”
Henry has played all but eight minutes in the Red Bulls’ last two games.
Solli, Pearce, Meara expected back next week
The Red Bulls are getting closer and closer to being at full strength.
Backe said defender Heath Pearce, midfielder Jan Gunnar Solli and goalkeeper Ryan Meara are likely to be healthy enough from their injuries to return to training next week. Pearce and Solli have been dealing with hamstring knocks while Meara did not train at all this week due to a light hip problem.
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at Franco8813@gmail.com.