After announcing late last week that Didier Drogba would miss at least four of the team’s first five matches in order to avoid playing on artificial surfaces, the Montreal Impact revealed on Monday that the star striker will spend some time training away from the club.
The Impact announced that Drogba will train in Sacramento with his physiotherapist and USL club Sacramento Republic FC for “the next few days” as he continues to prepare for his 2016 debut. Montreal said in a statement that Drogba’s left knee swells when he plays on artificial turf, and that the club wants to decrease any risk of injury for the 38-year-old Ivorian. It's not yet clear when he'll return to Montreal.
Drogba will miss at least four of Montreal’s first five matches to avoid playing on turf. He might make his debut on March 19 at FC Dallas, with the Impact saying in their statement that he could play in Texas “if everything goes well.”
He already missed Montreal’s first game, a 3-2 win at Vancouver on Sunday, and will skip the Impact’s match at Olympic Stadium this Saturday against the New York Red Bulls (4 pm ET, MLS LIVE). Drogba will also miss Montreal’s match at Seattle on April 2, as well as a second match at the Big O on April 9 against Columbus Crew SC.
The Impact will play six straight matches on natural grass following their April 9 date with Columbus, including three matches at Stade Saputo, which they’ll open on April 23 against Toronto FC.