FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The mood of the New England Revolution – and perhaps not coincidentally their results – seemed to improve when Jermaine Jones returned to the fold two weeks ago.
Now, after reintegrating himself with the first team, the Revs Designated Player is on the verge of making his 2015 debut, nearly two months to the day after surgery to repair a sports hernia. What New England boss Jay Heaps won't do is rush the midfielder back ahead of Saturday's clash with Columbus Crew SC (3 pm ET, MLS LIVE).
- New England Revolution vs. Columbus Crew SC | MLS Match Preview
“With Jermaine, we’re going to see how this week goes,” Heaps said. “We’ll see how the next couple of days go in terms of how many minutes, if he’s in the squad. It’s important just to see these next couple of days.”
After Jones arrived in New England last year, the club rattled off a 8-1-1 regular-season record, with the lone defeat coming at the hands of Crew SC. Of course, with Jones helping run the midfield, the Revs followed that stretch with a run to the MLS Cup Final, the only other loss suffered with the USMNT man in the lineup.
After a strong week of training, Jones was moved from 'out' to ‘questionable’ on the club’s injury report prior to last weekend’s match in Colorado, where he supported the team from the sidelines despite not being in the squad.
“I think he had an excellent week last week leading up to the game [against Colorado],” said Heaps of Jones, who scored three goals and added six assists in 15 matches with the Revs last season. “[He] was close to being fit, but not quite there.”
New England continues to sort through some early knocks, with midfielder Daigo Kobayashi a late scratch last Saturday with a left hamstring strain and captain Jose Goncalves exiting the same match in the second half with tightness in his calf.
However, Teal Bunbury and Kevin Alston were back in the lineup in Commerce City, and the Revs hope that Jones will follow suit this week at home as they build on a 2-0-1 stretch in their past three matches.