Tim Cahill may have been in uniform this past weekend, but the chances of him playing against Toronto FC were always very slim.
FC Dallas might not be so lucky.
New York Red Bulls head coach Mike Petke told reporters via a conference call on Tuesday afternoon that Cahill is making significant progress in his recovery from a torn ligament in his right ankle and could return to the fold as soon as in this Sunday’s home game against FC Dallas (5 pm ET; UniMas).
The ankle injury forced the Australian midfielder to miss the Red Bulls’ last two matches, a 4-1 road win against the Houston Dynamo and 2-0 victory at home against TFC last Saturday.
“He seems to be doing very well,” said Petke. “As you saw, he was on the bench this past Saturday. We didn’t want to use him unless we absolutely had to. We have another week ahead of us that he can keep rehabbing and be integrated into the team.
“Without making predictions, it’s looking good, it’s looking good that this will be a big week for him and we could possibly see him back in action.”
Petke also sounded optimistic about the chances that right back Brandon Barklage could suit up against FC Dallas. Barklage has been sidelined the last two games because of a glute strain.
“Brandon Barklage, I believe, is back in the mix, considering that the last couple of days that we’ve had off, he’s done what he should be doing with the medical staff,” said Petke.
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The statuses of Roy Miller and Connor Lade seem a little bleaker. Petke said Miller is likely to be out of training for at least another week due to an Achilles’ issue he has been struggling with since last month’s loss to Chivas USA, and Lade is on a week-to-week basis with a nagging problem in his right knee.
As for Lloyd Sam, Petke guessed that the right-sided midfielder would be back in training this week. Sam was a late scratch last week due to a groin issue that made it uncomfortable for him to get down the wing and cross balls in.
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached by email at Franco8813@gmail.com.