Looking to get back in the win column, the New York Red Bulls may have both of their Designated Players back when they host the rival Philadelphia Union on Saturday (8 pm ET, NBCSN).
Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke gave an update on both of his injured star players on Tuesday afternoon in a conference call with reporters, saying that he fully expects captain Thierry Henry to make his return to the lineup while Tim Cahill is likely to play in some capacity against the Union.
Henry missed this past Saturday’s 2-0 loss to the Columbus Crew due to an Achilles inflammation and Cahill has been out of commission since suffering a torn PCL in his right knee in a victory over Real Salt Lake on July 27.
“I full expect Thierry to be available this weekend, 100 percent,” said Petke. “It was something that I was aware about all [last] week. I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen and then on Thursday, we made a precautionary decision. It was acting up and we went with it.”
“Cahill practiced fully today, 100 percent, no limitations,” added Petke. “That’s a phenomenal sign, obviously. Judging by today’s performance. I’d expect a very good possibility that he’ll be available but we still have three practice sessions to go.”
Cahill’s injury may have been the more severe of the two, but Petke stated that Henry’s is the one that will “always” linger. Still, Petke insisted he was not losing too much sleep over Henry’s recurring Achilles issues.
“It’s been lingering for years but I’m not overly concerned because the one thing I learned from Thierry is he’s finally at a place in his playing career where he wasn’t in the last couple years,” he said. “He would throw caution to the wind [in the past] and not worry about the next day just to get on the field and that’s when he gets the problems. That’s how I was a player and that’s, in my mind, why I wasn’t able to play a bit longer.
“I’m not concerned. I think [resting him] was the right thing to do and that enables him to, what I consider, be 100 percent available for this weekend, a big game at home against Philly.”
- Get more New York Red Bulls news at NewYorkRedBulls.com
Petke also offered one other bit of injury-related news, saying that midfielder Lloyd Sam might be made available for the weekend clash at Red Bull Arena. Sam did not travel to Columbus for this past weekend’s match after suffering a knock to his left quadriceps in a 3-2 triumph against Sporting Kansas City on Aug. 3.
“Lloyd was partially in today,” said Petke. “I’ve not gotten a final update on him. It was predetermined to do just a partial [session], so it’s not like we pulled him out for no reason, and he looked okay as far as the injury.
“That’s a good sign for him as well, but again there’s three days left. On Thursday, it would be a good day for me to answer that question.”