TORONTO – It’s not as severe as the injury bug Toronto FC had to deal with at the beginning of the season, but two of the club’s more important midfielders are a doubt for Friday's match against Sporting Kansas City (8:30 pm ET, Free MLS Stream of the Week).
Both Jonathan Osorio and Jackson are questionable for the Eastern Conference showdown thanks to injuries. Osorio played with a bandaged hand in the second half of TFC’s home victory over the New York Red Bulls over the weekend, and after the match, head coach Ryan Nelsen joked that he had hurt his little finger – but then explained that it could have been broken.
On Tuesday, Nelsen confirmed that Osorio had a hairline fracture on his hand.
“The hand hurts a lot,” Osorio told reporters at training. “We did an X-ray after the game and the doc might have spotted a little fracture. To be honest, it’s not as bad as I thought it was when it happened.”
Osorio says the hand won’t stop him from playing, but his hamstring might. Will Osorio feature for Toronto in Kansas City on Friday?
“My hamstring, unfortunately, is starting to hurt again,” Osorio said on Wednesday. “It’s not the same injury as last time though, it’s a different part. Hopefully I’ll be good, I’ll get a scan today and hopefully it won’t be bad news.”
Another player set to miss out is Jackson, who has been absent for the last four weeks due to a concussion. The Brazilian winger missed out on both legs of the Amway Canadian Championship semifinals and was also omitted from the team that beat the Red Bulls 2-0 at BMO Field. Nelsen said that Jackson had to go through league protocols for head injuries but added that he’s “hoping today he’s past the initial steps to get back into training.”
This isn’t Osorio’s first hamstring issue of the year, but as he mentioned, it's not a reoccurrence of his last problem, either.
“It’s the same leg, but I wouldn’t say it’s the same injury,” Osorio said. “Last time it was a hamstring injury on the muscle ... so when I sprinted, it hurt. This time, it’s more when I stretch it that it hurts.”
- Catch the latest TFC headlines at TorontoFC.ca
Nelsen explained why he and the training staff are proceeding with caution on the matter.
“Last time we were in this situation we tried to get him back too early and he was out for three or four weeks so we have to be careful,” said the TFC boss.
And while the current list of players injured is shorter than when injury bug of a few weeks past hit the team, it still leaves the Reds shorthanded in midfield. Osorio will be hoping for a quick recovery to give his coach another option to choose from.
“It’s very frustrating,” Osorio said. “Last year I had no injuries but this year, this whole year, I’m dealing with it. At the same time, I’m trying to stay positive and take it as a good learning experience, you know?”