Tim Cahill celebrates (August 31, 2013)

Tim Cahill still out of team drills, questionable for New York Red Bulls return vs. Toronto FC

HANOVER, N.J. – It seems unlikely that Tim Cahill will play much if at all this weekend, but New York Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke is still holding out hope.

Cahill did some individual work during Thursday morning’s practice session at the Red Bulls training facility while still recovering from a torn ligament in his right ankle, but did not take part in any of the team drills. Still, Petke is not yet ready to rule him out for Saturday’s home game against Toronto FC (7 pm ET, MLS Live).

“I’m not planning on Tim starting, I’m not planning on it,” said Petke. “It’s not unlikely, but I’m not planning on that. But perhaps he could be coming off the bench or perhaps we’re going to rest him one more week. It’s one of these things we don’t need to make a decision right now. We have all the way up to Saturday at 7 o’clock.”

Cahill is not the only one on the mend for New York. Right back Brandon Barklage is recovering from a minor gluteus tear that kept him out of last weekend’s win vs. the Houston Dynamo, and his status for Saturday is also up in the air.

Lloyd Sam was another player seen doing individual work on Thursday, but Petke seemed a bit more optimistic about the English midfielder’s availability for the weekend.

“Just precautionary,” said Petke. “He was a little sore yesterday, felt a little something … in his groin. I know it’s very much precautionary today and we had him out watching the tactical stuff we were doing and we’re going to give him a fitness test tomorrow and see where he’s at.”

As for Costa Rican left back Roy Miller, he is still rehabbing and has not yet been cleared to run or return to the field for light work. Miller, who is suffering from an Achilles' problem, has missed the Red Bulls’ last two games.

Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached by email at Franco8813@gmail.com.

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