Caleb Porter knows he won’t have Diego Chara for the second leg of the Portland Timbers’ Western Conference Semifinal series against Houston on Sunday (7:30 pm ET | FS1 in the US | TSN1, TVAS in Canada), but the injury status of several other Portland players is still up in the air heading into the weekend.
The Timbers head coach told reporters on Wednesday that he’s not yet sure if Darlington Nagbe, Larrys Mabiala, David Guzman, Sebastian Blanco or Fanendo Adi will be available when Portland hosts the Dynamo in Leg 2 on Sunday.
Chara, Nagbe and Mabiala all left Monday’s scoreless draw in the first leg due to injury; Chara will miss extended time with a broken fifth metatarsal, while Nagbe and Mabiala could potentially return on Sunday. Guzman, Blanco and Adi didn’t dress for the first leg. Blanco was a game-time decision after he suffered burns on his foot after he spilled boiling water on himself; Guzman missed the match with a knee injury and Adi has been out since August due to a hamstring strain.
“Chara is out for the game, really don’t have anything else concrete to tell you with regards to availability with any of the other guys,” Porter said on Wednesday. “We’ll prepare as if they’re going to be out.”
Porter also addressed Adi’s absence. The Nigerian striker hasn’t played since suffering a hamstring injury against LA on Aug. 6. The knock was only supposed to keep him out for a couple of weeks, but unspecified complications have extended that timeframe to nearly three months. Porter confirmed on Wednesday that Adi went to LA to see a specialist for his hamstring, but remained coy about any details of his potential return.
“It’s been a tricky case for the medical staff to solve a bit and figure out,” he said. “We’re always going to be open to getting second opinions and getting advice from the world experts on all these things, so we sent him to LA to see someone down there and we got some good information moving forward on what we need to do to get him back on the pitch. Whether that’s this game or not, we know we have a 16-day, 15-day break after this match [before the Conference Championship]. That’s the good news with some of these injuries, if we get through this game we should be getting guys back for sure.”
The news isn’t as positive for Chara, of course. The hugely important defensive midfielder will likely miss the remainder of the year due to his foot injury, which he suffered on a bumpy, rundown field in Houston.
“I don’t want to pile it on Houston, but I think it had something to do with the field; it was a broken foot based on him planting on the field,” Porter said. “At the end of the day it’s too bad, it’s unfortunate, but it’s irrelevant to talk about the past for me. I’m on to the future. Disappointing obviously, Chara being out, he’s a key player for us, but we’ll move on.”