COMMERCE CITY, Colo.- The Colorado Rapids’ lone significant injury of the moment hopes to be back on the practice field next week.
Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni told MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday that he hopes to welcome Spanish midfielder Jose Mari back to practice next week, although Mastroeni confirmed that he will miss this Saturday’s clash against the Philadelphia Union (7 pm ET, MLS Live).
“He’s definitely out [for Saturday’s match], but then day-to-day after that,” Mastroeni said of Jose Mari on Tuesday.
The 26-year-old sprained his left ankle in practice on June 27, forcing him to miss the last two MLS matches. But the former Real Zaragoza player hopes to train again next week with an eye for a return potentially as soon as in next Friday’s showdown in Portland on July 18 (11 pm ET, NBCSN), but more likely in time for the following week’s home clash against Chivas USA (July 25, 9:30 pm ET on MLS LIVE).
He’s been an important addition to the 7-5-5 Rapids, providing three goals and an assist as a ball-distributing central midfielder who often plays just in front of the back four.
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Mari trained indoors on Tuesday, cycling before he prepares for more vigorous workouts later on in the week.
“I don’t want anyone that’s out here to be at 75 percent,” Mastroeni said. “One hundred percent physically, 100 percent mentally, 100 percent emotionally tuned in. We’ve got to have a 100 percent soldier.
"Your tank has got to be full in order to win the race.”
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.