MONTREAL – The Montreal Impact are dealing with international call-ups, but they’re catching a break on the injury front.
High-profile attackers Didier Drogba and Ignacio Piatti will be “options” back from injury – barring any setbacks – this Saturday at home to the Chicago Fire (8 pm ET; MLS LIVE), interim head coach Mauro Biello confirmed on Thursday. Both Drogba and Piatti took part in full training, having overcome injuries to their toe and calf, respectively.
“We’ll see. We’ll check the GPS and all the data,” Biello told reporters. “We’ll see how they’ve recovered in training, and we’ll make a decision based on that.”
The two Designated Players are timely additions to the roster in the context of this week’s FIFA window. Montreal have had six international call-ups ahead of Saturday's match: Laurent Ciman (Belgium), Ambroise Oyongo (Cameroon), Kyle Bekker, Maxime Crépeau (Canada), Johan Venegas (Costa Rica) and Eric Miller (USA).
Biello believes the likely addition of the stars will provide a significant boost for the other players in the matchday 18 on Saturday, not to mention help the Impact get back to the win column: “[Drogba and Piatti] help us and give us more options. It’ll also help the group in terms of confidence.”
Biello didn’t confirm that either Piatti or Drogba would start. Piatti played his last game on Aug. 8, a 1-0 home loss to D.C. United. Drogba, for his part, still lacks match fitness after a two-month offseason and a half-hour cameo for Montreal in a 1-0 loss to Philadelphia on Aug. 22.
Also back in full training this week was Hassoun Camara, who has missed the bulk of this MLS season with knee and quad injuries. Team captain Patrice Bernier, however, had a cortisone injection to treat plantar fasciitis and will not be available this Saturday.