The Montreal Impact are unlikely to have Didier Drogba available for their Decision Day visit to the New England Revolution, according to media reports out of Quebec.
The Ivorian star refused to take part in last weekend's 2-2 home draw with Toronto due to his dissatisfaction with being left out of the starting lineup. Player and club appeared to have solved the matter during the week, though, Impact owner Joey Saputo stating on Tuesday that the situation had been "resolved to the club’s satisfaction."
But CBC Radio-Canada and TVA Sports have reported that Drogba did not take part in Impact training this week before the team departed for Boston ahead of Sunday's clash with the Revs at Gillette Stadium (4 pm ET; MLS LIVE, TVA Sports in Canada). Based on coach Mauro Biello's typical selection policy, that appears to make the veteran striker a long shot for match action.
“Didier Drogba will not train today,” tweeted TVA Sports' Nicolas Martineau on Friday. “So he will certainly not play in New England.”
Didier Drogba ne s'entraînera pas aujourd'hui. Il ne jouera donc assurément pas en Nouvelle-Angleterre. #IMFC— Nicolas A Martineau (@nikmartineauTVA) October 21, 2016
CBC Radio-Canada quoted Biello as saying on Friday that “if he is not training [Saturday], he will not be available [Sunday],” and alluded to lingering discomfort from a back injury as the stated cause for Drogba's non-participation in training, including Saturday's final session before Montreal's travel south across the border.
Gillette Stadium's pitch is artificial turf, a surface that Drogba has avoided for most of his time in MLS, citing a desire not to aggravate a chronic knee issue.
Drogba has netted 10 goals and six assists in 22 games (18 starts) this season, his second in MLS. But the Impact have a 3-7-8 record when he starts, and are 8-3-4 when he doesn't.
Drogba, for his part, on Saturday tweeted out a video of his newly-signed teammate Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla, the 17-year-old academy product inked to a Homegrown contract on Thursday, dancing in the Impact locker room: