Midfielder Nielsen six weeks from health for New York

Danish winger eager to get back on pitch; Lindpere near full health

Brian Nielsen

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

It might be six weeks away from happening, but the timing is perfect
for a New York Red Bulls side that will need some midfield depth as the
busy upcoming summer of international call-ups comes.

But it won’t be through a trade or an international signing. Instead,
it’s the hoped-for return-to-health of former Danish U-21 winger Brian
Nielsen, who’s inching his way back to the practice field after multiple
knee surgeries over the past year.

“I am probably about six to seven weeks away,” Nielsen told MLSsoccer.com. “I’m feeling better and, I think, much closer now.”

Nielsen signed with the Red Bulls last spring but a chronic knee injury
he brought over from his previous season in Denmark sidelined the
player after just a handful of games. Then a surgery this past fall
derailed his progress further. He has been relegated to agility,
strength training and individual work with the ball, and he has yet to
join a team session this year.

The winger, who showed some flair and good crossing ability during his
cup of coffee with the team last year, recently returned from Denmark —
where he got his paperwork in order for his second year in MLS.

“Everything is almost done with the papers,” Nielsen said. “I did some
rehabbing with my knee as well. I’m just ready to get back on the field
soon.”

Lindpere Nearly 100 Percent: Joel Lindpere limped off
the field in mid-April during the Red Bulls’ 3-0 win over San Jose and
has been on the road to full health ever since.

At practice on Tuesday, Lindpere said his injured knee is feeling much
better and is no longer an issue. The Estonian international missed some
practices during that stretch a month ago as he tried to let the knock
heal, and a lighter training schedule last week benefitted the
midfielder.

“It’s good, it’s not too bad,” Lindpere told MLSsoccer.com “I say it’s much better. I didn’t think about it at all on Sunday.”

Set-Piece Conundrum: The Red Bulls have been among the
best defensive teams in the league this year, surrendering just three
goals in their opening eight matches. But Sunday evening against Chivas
USA, they equaled that total in the 3-2 loss.

Most troublesome for New York is the fact that three of their last four goals conceded came off set pieces.

“We took a look at that already at what happened,” Lindpere said. “We
have a couple days now to look at that and work on it in training and
take care of it.”

Kristian R. Dyer can be followed at twitter.com/KristianRDyer